TOWN Hall bosses are to use big city tactics to stop 'dangerous' parking in the middle of a new multi-million pound highway scheme.

Blackburn with Darwen Council is turning a key section of its £4.8million Furthergate Link Road into a 'red route' with 'no stopping or loading' to ensure motorists obey the rules.


It is the first time these powers have been used outside London, Birmingham and Edinburgh.

Local businesses have reacted angrily to the crackdown labelling the road 'a nightmare'.

The new route covers section of the A678 on Copy Nook, Bottomgate and Furthergate widened under the £40million Pennine Reach Scheme to speed buses between Hyndburn, Blackburn and Darwen.

Since completed, the new road has been plagued by careless and dangerous parking, highlighted by the Lancashire Telegraph.

The worst problem has been with drivers leaving vehicles in the middle of Copy Nook forcing the council to install water-filled barriers and bollards to deter them.

Blackburn with Darwen council regeneration boss, Cllr Phil Riley, said: "This is about tackling careless and dangerous parking and ensuring the safe and speedy passage of buses."

Yasin Patel, of Fonez 4 All on Copy Nook, said: "They have already made this road a nightmare with these traffic lights.

"The red lines are just going to make it worse."

The decision comes as the borough starts preparations to build the missing link of the scheme, a 500 yard stretch from the Red Lion roundabout near the M65 Junction 6 towards Tesco’s Hill Street superstore.

The work was delayed by a price war between the retail chain and the council over a 200 square metre parcel of land off Gorse Street.

The council has now secured the £2million to complete the project from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.

The new experimental red route covers stretches from Larkhill and the Eanam Roundabout to Accrington Road and Gorse Street with stopping and loading prohibited except in a few marked and signed bays with time restrictions.

It covers both sides and central 'reservation' areas, with fines of £70 reduced to £35 if paid within 14 days, enforced by police and council officers.

Cllr Riley said: "This is about taking the legal powers to stop careless and dangerous parking, especially in the middle of Copy Nook.

"We have spent a lot of money on this scheme and we don't wish to see the passage of buses impeded by driver behaviour which causes a risk of serious accidents.

"It is the first time these powers have been taken outside a major city and they will come into force within weeks rather than months.

"We consulted extensively with traders and believed we had come to an acceptable solution.

"I am amazed if local businesses want to see parking to continue in the centre of Copy Nook, which puts vehicles and pedestrians at the risk of serious harm."

Faruk Desai, who works at the Tayyabah Bakery, on Copy Nook, said: "This is crazy.

"It is difficult enough as it is. Most of our customers come by car."

Faizal Lorgat, of Anzio Designs in Bottomgate, said: "They are spending all this money and it's not getting any better.

"People will see these double red lines and not know what is going on.

"The council will end up making around £50,000 or £60,000, just like the bus lane cameras."

Salim Hussain, 36, from Audley regularly shops along Copy Nook.

He said: "This is just the kind of thing to put people off. No-one is going to know what double red lines mean around here."

Council Tory group deputy leader, Cllr Colin Rigby, said: "This is a road safety issue.

"I am afraid local businesses will have to put up with it.

"It is an experimental order which needs to be monitored for its effect in deterring dangerous parking and impact on traders and, if necessary, fine-tuned."

Cllr Riley said now the cash for the 'missing link' had been secured from the LEP's 'Growth Deal', work on procuring the contract to build the road section would start immediately.