ROADWORKS carried out as part of a multi-million pound town centre regeneration scheme have been causing a headache for commuters.

Drivers have endured delays and disruption on their way to and from work in Bacup because of the roadworks which started this week and will last 15 weeks.

For the duration of the works, Union Street has been one-way while another bottleneck is the Burnley Road junction where motorists now cannot turn right onto Newchurch Road, only left onto St James Square.

The roadworks are part of a £2 million Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) which aims to improve Bacup town centre for residents, businesses and visitors.

It has seen changes made to the road layout which are the final piece of the project to make the town centre better for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cllr Alyson Barnes, leader of Rossendale Council said she was concerned that drivers have suffered inconvenience.

She said: "It is disappointing that drivers have suffered such delays and disruption, and we will be raising the issue with Lancashire County Council.

"These roadworks are a necessary part of our £2 million Townscape Heritage Initiative to improve Bacup town centre for residents, businesses and visitors.

"Changes to the road layout are the final piece of the project and will make the town centre better for pedestrians and cyclists.

"Some disruption is to be expected but we are a working borough; people still have to get to and from work during these roadworks so these problems must be resolved as soon as possible".

One resident said on Facebook: "Roadworks started in Bacup Town centre, traffic is total gridlock."

Another said: "Traffic from Burnley, Todmorden and Rochdale, trying to go towards Rawtenstall, all have to go up Union Street. Good luck everyone, I don't think the powers that be have thought this through properly."

A spokesman for Lancashire county council said: "One of our highways engineers went to the site as soon as we were aware of the problems and worked with the contractor to scale back the traffic management to allow traffic to flow more freely.

"We then monitored how this worked during the evening rush hour to see if any further changes were needed."

New paving and improved pedestrian facilities are planned in Bacup as part of the next phase of the THI.

The work is scheduled to finish during October and will see pavements in and around St James Square upgraded with high-quality York stone, roads resurfaced and three zebra crossings installed. Extra visitor parking and loading bays for businesses will also be introduced.

In 2013, Rossendale Council secured Heritage Lottery Fund cash to deliver the £2million THI which aims to support the regeneration of Bacup by restoring historic features and increasing appeal to visitors and businesses.