FOR many the M65 has always run through East Lancashire like a spine - linking Preston to Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley and beyond.

However for some, the idea of building a long concrete snake from Blackburn and Darwen towards the M61 and the M6 did not sit well.

Throughout 1995 a series of protests were held against the Department of Transport's plans to extend the M65 by 12 miles.

In some of these images we can see dozens of people sat on top of a row of terraced houses in Blackburn Road, Darwen, protesting against the proposals.

The protestors squatted inside the derelict houses, which did not have any heating, electricity, working toilets or hot water.

The last tenants had moved out a few years before the protests started.

Other stands were made in Stanworth Woods near Feniscowles, where protestors were climbing up tall trees and refusing to move.

Police officers were forced to remove protestors from both the houses and trees.

At the time officials said the extension would help boost employment and attract new businesses.

Mike Murray, the then president of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce told the Lancashire Evening Telegraph the motorway will improve the environment, drawing trucks away from the town centre.