A ‘DESPERATLY needed’ project to upgrade a cross roads in Rishton has been delayed by at least six months.

Work on the junction at Eachill Road was due to start this month but Hyndburn Borough Council was informed recently that ‘legal issues’ surrounding a plot of land were still outstanding.

The project is part of the £40 million Pennine Reach bus scheme linking Darwen, Blackburn and Hyndburn, via a high-speed bus lane, together with new £5 million bus stations in Blackburn and Accrington town centres.

The scheme has proved controversial since it was proposed in May 2008 as the answer to grim forecasts about traffic and pollution along the A666.

The plot of land that the county council need to widen the road is currently owned by Hyndburn Homes.

Talks are still on-going between LCC and the housing provider over the land.

The scheme, developed between Lancashire County and Blackburn with Darwen Councils, will be largely paid for by the Department of Transport.

Hyndburn councillor Ken Moss said: “It’s a very busy cross roads and it’s in desperate need of being upgraded.

“Six months is a long time to wait and the county council need to pull their finger out on this one to get it done.

“There have been calls for years to get it upgraded and it was supposed to be started this month.

“It’s still going ahead which is positive but it’s a shame that it will take even longer.

“It’s a good job that it’s not an accident black spot or anything because that would make the situation much worse.”

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “LCC need a small amount of land in order to widen the toad for busses and all of the traffic.

“It’s owned by Hyndburn Homes and legal formalities need to be completed.

“We are looking at starting the project in at least six months time.”