Question marks over the Pennine Reach scheme remain over new bus lanes in Clayton-le-Moors.
Bus lanes were included in the original 2009 plans on Whalley Road between Adelaide Street and the Hare and Hounds junction heading northbound and southbound between Lynwood Avenue and Sparth Road.
A decision has been made not to introduce bus lanes on Whalley Road until at least 12 months after the entire scheme is completed - and only then pending a traffic survey.
Dave Johnson, owner of The Plumbing People Ltd on Whalley Road in Clayton-le-Moors, said he was ‘strongly against’ any bus lane. He said: “When you start dictating a lane specifically for buses all that will then do is cause more congestion.
“I’m a big sceptic at heart. You would create a huge problem with your retail and people won't stop where they can’t park.”
Nigel O’Rourke, owner of Open All Flowers on Whalley Road, said businesses will be ‘massively enthusiastic’ over the delays to any possible bus lane plans.
Hyndburn council leader and county councillor for Clayton-le-Moors Miles Parkinson said he does not believe the bus lane will be necessary following the wider improvements.
He said: “I believe there won’t be a need for the bus lane if all the other changes and the traffic and pedestrian signals come in. That will help cut down the delay on the buses.
"If it was worst case scenario I would be campaigning strongly for only limited hours in the morning and evenings during the busiest times and not 24 hours.”
Wider plans for Clayton-le-Moors include improvements to the Hare and Hounds roundabout, cited by council officers as one of the ‘worst congested hotspots in Hyndburn’.
Improvements will be made to manage traffic flow, reduce delays to buses and improve pedestrian and cycle facilities.
Some on street parking will be removed, however replacement car parking areas are being planned on the site of the former St James’ Church, the former Sydney Street Methodist Church and Wilson’s Playing Fields car park.
Improvements will also be made to car park areas on Canal Street to mitigate any losses.