THE main route into Blackburn from the M65 Junction Six at Whitebirk will remain obstructed with cones, temporary traffic lights and mini-roundabouts until mid-summer, the borough council has revealed.

Already the newly-opened £4.8million Furthergate Link Road has been reduced to a single lane with vehicle flows controlled by stopgap signals until June.


The permanent lights to control the bus lanes and traffic, including replacement the coned mini-roundabout where the new highway joins Furthergate will be in place until July.

Blackburn with Darwen council Tory group leader, Cllr John Slater and borough traders’ boss Tony Duckworth have criticised the repeated delays and "haphazard" management of the works, part of the £40 million Pennine Reach scheme.

Following problems with the project in Hyndburn, including a last-minute seven-week delay in opening Accrington bus station, county Tory leader Geoff Driver said: “This whole scheme has been poorly implemented.”

Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen regeneration, defended the project’s handling saying 95 per cent of works in the borough had been delivered.

He said of the Furthergate scheme, originally scheduled for Autumn 2015: “This has been a challenging project partly with many unexpected utility cables and pipes."

“The important thing is to get it right.”

The three-way lights on the link road between with Gorse Street/Burnley Road and Furthergate/Bottomgate to enable final carriageway widening works will be taken off in early June.

Queues this week have stretched back to the Red Lion roundabout.

Cllr Slater said: “We support this project but its management has been haphazard.

“I am very concerned at these delays which have caused real problems for commuters and town centre businesses.”

Chamber of Trade president Mr Duckworth said: “We have had months of problems for motorists trying in the town centre and the businesses.”