A DANGEROUS ‘bottleneck’ junction in the middle of a town is to be given a £440,000 upgrade including new sensitive traffic lights to ease congestion.

The cash will be spent on the junction in the centre of Brierfield which has long been a concern to local residents, politicians and motorists.

The scheme to widen pavements, improve pedestrian crossing points, upgrade traffic lights with sensitive camera technology, provide cycle facilities including new cycle parking and improve bus priority was approved by Lancashire County Council’s cabinet on Thursday.

County Cllr Mohammed Iqbal, who represents Brierfield, said: “I welcome this scheme to address the misery of this junction.”

The cabinet meeting also gave provisional approval for a similar highway improvement scheme in the centre of Burnley.

The Brierfield scheme affects the junction of Halifax Road, Colne Road, Burnley Road and Railway Street where there have been five injury accidents and one fatal collision in the last five years.

A Lancashire County Council spokesman said: “The improvements proposed for Brierfield include better facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, and the high-quality materials specified for the wider pavements will improve the look and feel of the area.

“The improvements to the junction will help to reduce queueing with new more efficient traffic signals, and provide better pedestrian safety with crossings on every arm of the junction.

“The scheme will provide a more welcoming gateway for visitors arriving at the railway station, and complement the nearby Northlight , or Brierfield Mill, development nearby.”

Cllr Iqbal said: “I am glad that the work of councillors and residents has finally paid off.

“This junction is a serious bottleneck and also dangerous as some motorists seem to think it is ok to drive through a red light.

“This approval for the scheme is welcome but long overdue.”

Thursday’s meeting also approved spending £250,000 on improvements to St James's Street between Hammerton Street and Active Way in the centre of Burnley.

Cllr Mark Townsend, leader of Burnley Council, said: “It will contribute to our improvements to Burnley town centre.”

He added: "It goes alongside our plans for Pioneer Place and the new student accommodation in Sandygate.”

The Burnley town centre scheme will include widening the pavements, improving pedestrian crossings, providing new cycle facilities and cycle parking and improving bus priority arrangements. The use of higher quality footway materials will complement the Weavers Triangle and town centre public realm improvement scheme.

The money will come from the £13.8m Hyndburn Burnley Pendle Growth Corridor project.