A BLACKBURN family business has been making productive use of the lockdown period by using its expertise to help design coronavirus testing centres, build new cycle lanes and to decorate roads with colourful messages of thanks to key workers.

Kays Traffic Management, a road maintenance firm based in the town, has helped to change the layout of roads for two new testing centres in Blackburn and East Lancashire to ensure that they are marked out for social distancing and people can move through them safely.

The company has also build temporary cycle lanes across Blackburn and Darwen and has decorated traffic lines and zebra crossings around the county with paintings of rainbows and messages of support for the NHS.

Commercial director Shaun Hargreaves said: “While many businesses have been forced to make staff redundant or struggled to adapt to the new normal, at Kays we have found new ways to utilise our expertise effectively.

“Myself and the team have been on site every day working harder than we ever have.”

This work has kept the company busier than ever at a time when many other businesses and other organisations have been forced to suspend normal work entirely.

The pandemic has in fact presented the ideal opportunity for work like this, with the roads abandoned to an unprecedented degree during the height of lockdown.

The new cycle lanes meanwhile have included ‘Stride to Ride’ for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council’s cycle initiative aimed at improving public health and safety.

The 23-year-old business has also been implementing the roll out of social distancing markings in Bolton town centre, which they hope will help locals to feel safer when venturing outside once the threat of the virus recedes.

Mr Hargreaves said: “We are proud to be a backbone for our community, keeping our teams in jobs at a time when unemployment has risen, whilst also knowing that we are providing a much needed service as a time when local authorities and other organisations really need a reliable partner.

“Of course we would never have wanted to find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic but I think we are all proud that we are able to do something productive to help keep the North West safe and moving.”