PLANS have been drawn up for a £1.6million project to promote an economic ‘growth corridor’ along Accrington Road, Burnley.

County council highway bosses are behind proposals to improve the route between junction nine and 10 of the M65.

Under the initiative, the junction 10 roundabouts at Gannow would have traffic signals installed.

The scheme, part of a bid to the Department of Transport (DoT), should provide benefits from Burnley Bridge business park to Rosegrove railway station and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

Rosegrove station should become busier when the Todmorden Curve track link is reinstated in 2014.

Further improvements would be made along the A679, linking junction nine and the town centre, say officials.

The work would cost around £1.59million, with a planning agreement contributing £314,000 and the county council handing over £164,000.

County councillor Tim Ashton, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “One of our top priorities is to create the right conditions for economic growth.

“And key to encouraging businesses to invest is to demonstrate that they'll be able to travel quickly and efficiently in Lancashire as the number of vehicles on our roads continues to grow.

“The investment already being made in the area identified as the Burnley Growth Corridor will result in more traffic, and our bid makes the case for a scheme which will allow this to take place while avoiding levels of congestion which could limit further growth.

Traffic signals at the two roundabouts at junction 10 would allow more traffic to flow more efficiently, and the plans to improve Rosegrove station and cycling and walking routes which link to it would encourage people to reach the area by public transport and ease pressure on the roads.”

Another reserve bid, for the Centenary Way viaduct in Burnley would cost £3.15m, and would replace bearings, supporting the structure.