WORK on the new £3.5million Rawtenstall bus station has been further delayed despite the demolition of the Bacup end of its predecessor.

Two rarely used stands have been taken down as part of works to complete its replacement later this summer.

A Rossendale Council spokesman admitted he next stage of construction had been delayed because of essential work on ageing electricity cables.

He revealed that talks for occupation of retails units in the new bus station, originally scheduled to open last year, were well-advanced.

The spokesman said: “As people can see the new bus station is nearing completion and even now it is looking terrific.

"Demolition work on the Bacup end of the old bus station really highlighted how far along we are.

“There will be a short delay to the opening of the new bus station owing to work by both Electricity North West to replace ageing cables in Lord Street and also by Lancashire County Council on the construction of new paving in the area.

“Whilst Electricity North West accommodated us by bringing things forward from their original plan, the public realm improvements in Lord Street can only be undertaken once these works have been completed.

“Getting the new bus station open will be a huge benefit to the town."

Conservative county councillor David Foxcroft, whose Mid-Rossendale ward includes Rawtenstall said: "I think this new delay is convenient as they are not making any progress in letting the retail units.

"This bus station is too large. This ridiculous project has been a farce from the start."

Cllr Keith Iddon, the county council;'s transport boss, said: "The new bus station will encourage more people to use public transport by providing a modern facility."