Roadworks to improve access at a busy junction have got underway this morning.
Major improvement works have begun this week at the junction of Blackburn Road and Dunkenhalgh Way outside the Junction 7 business park.
However, the works - due to last for the rest of the year and involve lane closures - have been branded a possible “nightmare” by a local councillor.
Lancashire County Council says the roadworks are designed to reduce congestion and boost access to employment sites near junction 7 of the M65.
However, Coun Malcolm Pritchard Milnshaw ward councillor and former county councillor for Accrington North, said he is concerned about tailbacks if the works are not managed correctly.
He said: “I use that route very regularly and I think that if it’s similar to how the first few weeks of work have been on the rest of the roundabout then it could be a complete and utter nightmare.
“We’ll just have to see how it pans out, it could improve it but it could make it a lot, lot worse.
“You’re going to get a lot of traffic backed up along Blackburn Road in that area coming from the motorway. But I’m hopeful that it will improve it overall, and the impact won’t be too great.”
Another lane for traffic is due to be added on the Blackburn Road approaches to improve traffic flow, along with a cycle lane to make the junction easier to negotiate for cyclists.
Traffic lights are due to be upgraded, with pedestrian and cycle crossings added on all arms of the junction and linked to the signals on the roundabout to minimise waiting times.
Accrington’s Central ward councillor Abdul Khan said he felt the works would not be a major cause of concern for traffic coming into the centre. He said: “People will have to put up with it for the time being, but once the work is finished it will be a lot better for the area.
“Of course the last thing we want is people going away from Accrington, we want to pull people in not push them out, but I don’t think this work will cause too much damage to that or affect trade too much.
“People will just find different routes through into Accrington.”
The scheme is part of a £12.1 million programme of work to junctions and nearby local roads called the Hyndburn-Burnley-Pendle Growth Corridor.
A spokesperson for Lancashire County Council said: “One of the aims of the growth deal is to ensure Lancashire’s transport infrastructure has the capacity to cope with future demand as employment and housing sites develop and more jobs are created. However, work which could cause most disruption to traffic will be scheduled outside peak hours wherever possible.”
The improvements began on Monday, September 5 with lane closures needed at times and is scheduled to be completed by the end of December.