A FORMER councillor has come up with a radical plan to create a bus station in Eastgate and make Accring-ton town centre a one-way system.
Adrian Shurmer, an ex-Great Harwood Independent on Hyndburn Council, says his plan would help improve traffic flow in the town and create a safer environment for shoppers and pedestrians. It comes hard on the heels of his other ambitious plan to create a by-pass to relieve traffic congestion in Clayton-le-Moors.
Revealing his idea to the Observer, he said: "It does not make any sense having a few buses here and there in Blackburn Road, Peel Street and Abbey Street.
"We should shut down one of the carriageways on Eastgate and make the other one- way. The buses could use the inner lane and passengers would only be a few strides away from the town centre."
Mr Shurmer, who compiled the famous Shurmer's Guide to Hyndburn and is an expert on driving issues, added: "The council is talking about breaking the bus station up and moving it to an inadequate site around Edgar Street. It lacks ideas and has got no imagination.
"What I am proposing would free up traffic in the town centre and give more access and space. We do not need a dual carriageway along Eastgate. It could be split into a single carriageway and the other half used for a bus station."
Under his plans, vehicles would drive either clockwise or anti-clockwise along Eastgate, King Street, Edgar Street, Wellington Street and Manchester Road.
He added: "The road situation at the moment is a disaster. There are six sets of traffic lights along Eastgate. I am offering a radical proposal and want it to be open for debate. Every single bus that comes into Accrington could be accommodated along Eastgate."
His plea comes months after the death of shopper Joyce Rigby who tragically died when she was struck by a bus on the Peel Street station.
Mr Shurmer said: "People and traffic do not mix and hindsight is a wonderful thing. The bus station is a nightmare at the moment and something needs to be done."
Hyndburn Council leader Peter Britcliffe said: "I would like to thank Adrian Shurmer for his contribution and we will take his proposal into consideration as part of the consultation. The bus station is a big issue for us and there have been lots of opinions on this. Mr Shurmer's views are welcome as he has knowledge on driving issues."
Council chiefs have earmarked land bordered by Union Street, Edgar Street and School Street for the site of an indoor bus station. Designs for the new bus station are being drawn up so that work can start by 2006.