More than a dozen bus stops in Longridge are to be upgraded to make it easier for passengers to get on and off the vehicles – and to prevent cars parking in their way.

The scheme – paid for by contributions from developers who have built houses in the area – is designed to improve access to public transport in the town.

However, the plans have been branded by some locals as out of proportion to the problem they seek to solve – with one resident claiming that they have never seen cars or vans blocking one of the 16 bus stops that will be revamped.  

Others have said that the new parking prohibitions extend over too wide an area.

As part of the work, which will cost £70,000, raised boarding points will be introduced, along with so-called ‘clearway’ restrictions, which will ensure buses can draw parallel to the kerb and so comply with equality legislation.

Two stops – on Market Place and King Street – will be removed entirely and a new one introduced on Berry Lane.

Lancashire County Council – whose cabinet has approved the plans – says that buses leaving the existing Market Place stop have to “arc across both lanes of traffic to turn left into Berry Lane, causing disruption, excessive idling and timetable delays”.

The current arrangement at that location has also attracted complaints from Market Place residents, including a petition highlighting the disturbance and air quality issues it causes.

In response to the proposed introduction of a bus stop clearway on Preston Road, the owner of a building overlooking the spot said, during a public consultation, that they had never witnessed a single vehicle parked there in nine years – and so blasted the scheme as “an inappropriate use of public funds”.

Highways bosses at the authority said that the restrictions were being introduced at that location to ensure the stop was not affected by cars “migrating from other areas once all measures are installed”.

A clearway proposed for Derby Road was described by one local as “unnecessarily excessive” in its length, while they also criticised the broader project as being “ill-thought out” and likely to cause traffic problems. County Hall said that it had reduced the extent of the restriction on the northbound side of Derby Road in response to the objection.

The changes on Berry Lane will cut eight metres from a parking bay on the route, but a new three-car bay – with the same time limits on its use – will be introduced 45 metres away, in place of the bus stop to be removed from Market Place.