Traders are outraged that dozens of shops will be left outside the town’s primary footfall area, if a new bus station were to get the go ahead.
The fury has been prompted by a town centre map which was produced for a public inquiry held last month into whether a new bus station at Crawshaw Street should be given planning permission.
The map shows a 250metre radius around the proposed bus station site and reveals that large parts of the town’s retail, particularly shops on Peel Street and Warner Street, would be outside the prime footfall area.
Mario Sarchaet, owner of Peters Jewellers, on Blackburn Road said: “Shoppers are less likely to walk beyond that 250metre radius and that is obviously going to have an impact.
“Really by moving the bus station they are shifting the town centre. It will be more focused around the Arndale which is classed as a prime retail space.
“I would like to see the concerns raised at the public inquiry in June reflected in the government report when it is published.
“I don’t know what will happen, we have just gone through one of the most difficult economic down turns for many years and it unlikely many of these businesses will be able to afford to relocate.”
Mushqat Juwale, of Smithson Newsagents, Peel Street, wanted to publicise the map to raise awareness amongst other traders.
He said: “I want people to see the map and realise the town centre is being shifted towards the Arndale. Accrington’s ‘secondary retail’ has kept the economy turning over.
“Accrington’s existing bus station is very central to all of Accrington’s amenities. The strong vibrancy and viability of the independent traders will be lost if their position is not taken into account.”
Chris Anslow, Lancashire County Council public transport development manager, said: “The Planning Inspector heard representations about the location of the new bus station at the inquiry. It would be inappropriate to comment while we’re awaiting a decision.”