TRADERS have welcomed plans to transform Bacup’s historic crossroads and create a pedestrian-friendly ‘shared space’.

The £400,000 regeneration project would make the area more attractive to shoppers and visitors and ease congestion on the busy junctions of Burnley Road, Yorkshire Street, St James Square and Market Street, traders said.

Street surfaces will be replaced with materials more in tune with the appearance of the surrounding buildings, the roundabout will be removed and narrow pavements and busy roads will be changed with the aim of allowing traffic to flow more freely.

Space to accommodate on-street activity, such as stalls, fairs and street cafes, has also been planned.

Alison Fyldes, owner of Forget Me Nots florists in St James Square, said the plans might encourage more people to come into the town centre.

She said: “Near the roundabout at the moment you hear beeping and shouting from near collisions. It’s a really bad roundabout, so it would be good if this solution was to stop that.

“It looks like it won’t divert people out of the centre, and will have space for people to have cafes, which is great, because at the moment there’s no reason for people to come into the town centre.

“Maybe it will mean the derelict buildings across the road will be able to have new businesses in too, which would be really good.”

Theresa Halstead, negotiator at Eley Long estate agents in Market Street, said the plans could make the roads less dangerous for elderly people.

She said: “It looks like it might solve the problems at the crossing.

“It also looks cleaner and tidier with the trees and new materials than it does at the moment.

“It would be sad to lose the fountain on the roundabout, but it looks like that would be the only bad thing about it.”