LANCASHIRE County Council transport bosses have defended their management of the building of Accrington’s £6.7million bus station after admitting the latest delay in opening is to train staff to use its hi-tech equipment.

They last night also reasserted the main reason for the hold-up was ‘relentless bad weather’ delaying the handover from contractors until last week.

The authority’s Cabinet member for transport John Fillis said this prevented training staff to operate the new public transport hub properly.

The bus station was originally due to open in March, then rescheduled for last Sunday and is now re-timed to open on Sunday July 10.

The leader of Hyndburn borough council’s Tory group Tony Dobson said: “This is not an adequate excuse for the latest hold up.

“The repeated delays to opening this bus station suggest management of the contract has not been as organised and professional as Hyndburn’s travelling public have the right to expect.

“There are lots of rumours going round the borough about the quality of the building work on suggesting the height is inadequate for double-deckers and that there are problems with the width clearance on the entrance and exit lanes.

“The county council needs to be fully-transparent and clear up any rumours of what has gone wrong.”

Former Blackburn Corporation bus driver, Michael Fairweather, 68, from Oswaldtwistle, said: “I am concerned that the entrance and exit lanes are too narrow for the buses to use which will lead to congestion on surrounding roads.”

LCC public transport manager Andrew Varley said:“We have heard some of the rumours circulating about the new station having been designed or built incorrectly, but there’s absolutely no truth to them. “It’s not unusual for large construction projects to experience a few weeks’ delay., and we’ve only very recently taken possession of the bus station from the building contractor. The relentless bad weather around the start of the year held up progress.”

Cllr Fillis said: “The main building work has been done, but we’ve still got plenty to do to make the new Accrington bus station ready for passengers.

“The electronic screens can only be put in once the heavy construction has been completed to avoid risk of damaging them.

“We’ve just finished recruiting the station staff and now we need to train them to use the systems and make sure they know everything they need.”

A public open day is currently being planned to give people a chance to look around before the station becomes operational.