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New square and one-way system plan for Accrington
PLANS to revamp a town centre’s roads system could see a ‘high quality’ town square for events and festivals created.
Hyndburn Council has drafted proposals which will see a one-way system brought in and the road closed outside Accrington Town Hall.
The plans, which are to complement the new bus station in Crawshaw Street, would include fully pedestrianising land fronting the town hall.
They would see a ‘high quality public realm’ made possible outside the Grade II buildings – Accrington Town Hall and Accrington Market Hall by closing the road, currently used only by buses.
However critics said it would increase problems with empty shops down the lower end of Blackburn Road.
Opposition leader Peter Britcliffe said: “I’d rather see this road opened up to all Traffic and the motorist encouraged into the heart of the town. I am very wary of proposals to close routes rather than open them up.
“We should be making life easier for the motorist because we are in competition with places like the Trafford Centre. We already have a public realm space which is currently empty – the market hall.”
However council leader Miles Parkinson said the plans would also see extra parking created in the centre of town. He said: “We have a really grand area of town near our proudest buildings going to waste. Now that buses won’t need to access the through road in front of the town hall, it can be something really special.”
In addition to closing Blackburn Road outside the town hall, a one-way system would see Blackburn Road traffic approaching the town hall diverted down Eagle Street. Traffic accessing the area from the viaduct roundabout would also enter a one-way system down Union Street, Blackburn Road and towards Eagle Street.
The new Accrington Bus Station will be on the car park at Crawshaw Street, with the main pedestrian access providing a direct link to Union Street opposite the entrance to the Arndale.
A report to councillors said that although the majority of buses would enter and leave from the site’s junction with King Street, some buses are likely to exit the bus station onto Blackburn Road.
Proposals will be voted on at Hyndburn’s Cabinet meeting next week.
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