How we use Cookies

Futuristic bus station on car park

PLANS to build a state-of-the-art indoor bus station in Accrington have been unveiled.

PLANS to build a state-of-the-art indoor bus station in Accrington have been unveiled.

But there were immediate fears it could lead to more congestion and severe parking problems in the town.

The scheme, presented to a meeting of Accrington Town Centre Regeneration Board, is for a brand-new bus station to be built on land bordered by Union Street, Edgar Street and School Street.

The site is currently a three-hour-stay disc car park with nearly 100 spaces, which is popular with shoppers.

Some surrounding buildings would have to be bought and demolished by the council before work could begin.

These could include the Lancashire Evening Telegraph offices on Edgar Street and certain properties on Union Street. The site of the old Observer office, now a staff car park, is also under threat.

The plans have been drawn up by Mr Roman Strzala, who has designed award-winning bus shelters in Burnley and Chorley.

There is provision for shops to be built along the concourse.

Council leader Peter Britcliffe said there was a "really serious possibility'' that the bus station could be built within the next three or four years.

He said: "The only really clear thing is that what we have now is unsatisfactory.

"If this scheme goes ahead we would have to look at parking provision in other areas of the town, perhaps even around the existing bus station. It would also spark a general review of traffic flows in Accrington.''

The cramped Peel Street bus station has been widely criticised and calls for its replacement came to a head following the death of pensioner Joyce Rigby, knocked down by a bus as she crossed the entrance to the station last October.

Mr Strzala said he had originally been commissioned to look at how the current bus station could be improved to handle future demand.

But after examining the site, he said there was little potential to develop it.

He added: "We have looked at the new site in quite a lot of detail and it has a number of benefits. It is capable of handling more buses, it is very close to the heart of the town centre and it is already in council ownership."

"It also has the potential to lift the whole area in terms of regeneration."

He added: "It will have a high quality environment that is more like an airport."

"It is all about making it a pleasurable experience for travellers."

But members of the council's Transport and Access Working Group raised concerns about the need to provide alternative car parking if the station was built.

One solution could be to extend the existing Arndale Centre car park.

There were also fears that buses leaving the station could cause extra congestion on busy Blackburn Road.

Councillor Jean Battle, leader of the Labour group, said: "I know this area very well and there is not a lot of room. The roundabout gets jammed up at certain times of the day and I think this could cause problems."

Nigel Rix, director of the council's regeneration arm Hyndburn FIRST, said that the plans were at an early stage and would have to be looked into in more detail, although they would be seriously considered by Lancashire County Council for funding.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist