PROPOSALS for council bosses to prepare the legal paperwork needed to implement a major £11.4million road scheme to cut traffic congestion on one of the main roads into Blackburn and improve access to the town’s hospital have been approved.

The changes to the road network were passed by Blackburn with Darwen Council executive board members.

The upgrade will see a busy stretch of Haslingden Road double from one lane each way to two in either direction to cut jams on a main route to the M65 and Grane Road.

There will also be major improvements to the roundabouts serving the Royal Blackburn Hospital and the junction with Shadsworth Road.

The total project cost is currently estimated at £11.4m, with £8.89m of funding to be drawn down from Growth Deal 3 via the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, with the remaining £2.5m coming from the council’s local transport plan fund.

Executive member for growth and development, Cllr Phil Riley, said: "These are a set of orders which are needed to facilitate the plans for Haslingden Road."

The new Blackamoor Link Road, including two new traffic light-controlled junctions at Roman Road and Blackamoor Road will be followed by the closure of the existing junction between the two.

The council hopes it will improve current poor air quality at Blackamoor Junction, open up the area near the reservoir for job-creating light industrial development and for new housing.

The scheme forms the final and largest part of the Pennine Gateways Growth Deal package which involves the Furthergate Link Road and road improvements in North Blackburn including the Brownhill roundabout upgrade.

Planning applications relating to the proposals are due to be submitted in September.