Fed-up passengers have complained of severe bus delays of over an hour, due to ongoing roadworks caused by a £40 million scheme.
The Hyndburn Connect service, which runs on a loop between Great Harwood, Accrington, Oswaldtwistle and Blackburn, has seen significant delays over the last few months, thanks to congestion caused by a road widening scheme in Blackburn.
The roadworks, located along Bottomgate and Furthergate in Blackburn, are part of Pennine Reach, a project run by Lancashire County Council and Blackburn Borough Council to reduce congestion and improve bus services between Accrington and Blackburn. The work began in October 2014 and is expected to continue until November this year.
The Hyndburn Connect bus service, which runs on the affected roads, has seen run-on delays along the rest of the route.
Bob Berwick, of Ainslie Close, Great Harwood, regularly travels on the number 6 and 7 bus between his home and Great Harwood town centre.
He said: “It’s been going on for the last few months. The buses start off on time early in the morning, but as the day goes on they just get later and later. On the hottest day of the year, we were waiting in Great Harwood town centre for over an hour.
“I understand the roadworks are one of the reasons for this, but I can’t understand why this is causing regular delays of over 45 minutes.”
Great Harwood councillor Gareth Molineux said: “I work in Blackburn, so I know the problem. There is a two to three-mile stretch of roadworks, and it has run-on effects into Great Harwood and the rest of Hyndburn.
“It’s a massive job, but I believe Blackburn Council feel the benefits outweigh a short period of disruption.”
A spokesman for bus company Transdev said: “Unfortunately due to the major roadworks right along our routes we have been experiencing some delays to our services.
“The team is trying to help by putting in extra buses where delays occur, especially during rush hours. We, along with all other road users in the area are hoping the work will complete on time and have already seen some areas like Church reaching a conclusion which should help us all with congestion in the area.”
Coun Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s executive member for regeneration, said: “Work is continuing at Furthergate as part of the Pennine Reach scheme and construction of new highways infrastructure is well underway. This element of Pennine Reach will improve access to Blackburn with Darwen for cars and buses.
“Infrastructure of this size will have some short-term impact but the final result will be beneficial. Works are scheduled for completion in Autumn 2015.”