New plans to improve cycling paths as part of a £7.5m major project to establish safe routes for cyclists around East Lancashire have been unveiled.

The proposals include a new section of cycleway on parts of Manchester Road and Church Avenue in Baxenden, along with a new toucan crossing on Manchester Road.

The proposals, set out in a report to be considered by councillors at the next cabinet meeting, relate to the next phase of the East Lancashire Strategic Cycleway Network, which aims to link towns in East Lancashire with safe cycle routes, making it easier for people to use their bikes to access opportunities by improving travel to workplaces, schools, shops and services.

One part of the network follows the existing National Cycle Route 6 between Accrington and Stubbins.

Most of this section uses off-road cycle tracks and quiet roads, however the new proposals aim to improve part of the route as it crosses the busy Manchester Road.

The report outlines the results of public consultation on the proposals, and comments which have been received in support of and objecting to the planned changes.

Cabinet member for highways and transport, County Councillor Charlie Edwards, said: "The East Lancashire Strategic Cycleway Network is a vital part of our plans to make it easier and safer for people to cycle for everyday journeys.

"Wherever possible we're making use of off-road tracks and paths to keep the route away from roads, however where the route uses existing highway we're making improvements to ensure the network is as safe and attractive to use as it can be.

"The work to date has already seen improvements to miles of off-road tracks and paths, as well as many sections of highway, and is being well-used by people for exercise and to travel around their local area.

"I look forward to cabinet considering this report on the feedback we've received to the consultation about the proposed highway changes as part of our plans to progress the route through Accrington."

The £7.5m East Lancashire Strategic Cycleway Network is part of the £234m Growth Deal to support economic growth secured by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership's successful bid to the government's Growth Fund, and will also receive contributions from Lancashire County Council and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.