£11.4 million link road plans are in for 2020 project launch
A planning application for an £11.4million road scheme to cut traffic congestion on one of the main roads into Blackburn and improve access to the town’s hospital has officially been submitted.
The planned upgrades, which have been slightly revised from the initial blueprints following consultation with residents, will see Haslingden Road widened between the Beehive roundabout and Royal Blackburn Hospital and the creation of a new entrance to Royal Blackburn Hospital at Old Bank Lane.
There will also be a creation of a new Blackamoor link road and junction improvements.
The council said the improvements are much-needed and hope they will improve the congestion on the Haslingden Road corridor to and from Royal Blackburn Hospital and junction 5 of the M65.
The work is due to start in early 2020 with a programmed completion by the end of March 2021.
The council says it hopes the upgrades will boost further development of business growth and job opportunities in the area, as well as supporting housing, both for families and staff at Royal Blackburn Hospital.
The Blackamoor changes are also designed to improve air quality and pedestrian facilities, at a designated Air Quality Management Area.
Cllr Phil Riley, executive member for growth and development, said: “We are very positive about this scheme that we believe will prepare the borough for future growth, investment and employment across the board.
“Obviously, there is going to be disruption as this is a big scheme and there is a lot of work that goes into widening a road and creating a new junction. I understand that this will at times be frustrating for residents and visitors while the work is being carried out but it is impossible to make changes as big as this without causing some disturbances.
“We can’t deny that changes have been needed for quite some time to the Haslingden Road and Blackamoor areas and they can’t be put off for much longer. This is a big chance for us to transform these routes for the better for the benefit of residents and road users and will make traffic flow much better in these areas.”
As part of the work the council has said it will keep parking outside “Fancy Row” properties on Haslingden Road and not progress with plans for new parking areas at the back of the row; extend solid islands for easier pedestrian crossing across Haslingden Road; create additional parking at the front of Roman Road “cottage” properties south of Newfield Drive with a new lay-by area; and make sure access to and from future Blackamoor development sites will be from the new Blackamoor Link Road only.
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.
The total project cost is 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.