Here’s a first look inside Accrington’s new £6 million bus station.
The Observer was invited to the town centre’s new transport terminal on Crawshaw Street before it opens to passengers.
The finishing touches are now being put in place on the Accrington George Slynn station - named in memory of the former transport campaigner and council chief - ahead of a public open day on Thursday, July 7.
Chris Smith, bus station manager, said he hopes the station will attract more bus users and shoppers to the town.
He said: “We are hoping the bus station will attract more passengers as it is a nicer environment than the old bus shelters on Peel Street.
“As it is national ‘catch the bus week’ next week we thought it would be nice for the people of Accrington to open it up and let them have a bit of a nosey around.
“It will be an opportunity for them to have a look around before it becomes operational. It will be good for us to have people in and see how they behave and react and what sort of questions they might ask.
The bus station will officially open on Sunday, July 10 with a ceremony being held on Monday, July 11 at 10am featuring dignitaries and family members of George Slynn.
The station will be open seven days a week from 5am to 10pm Monday to Friday, 6.15am to 10pm on Saturday and 7.45am to 9pm on Sunday.
The facilities include free wi-fi, information desks, public toilets, bus and train timetable displays, interactive journey planners, support for the deaf or visually impaired and space for two retail units.
Alan Pilkington, owner of Pilkington Bus, said they are looking forward to ‘getting going’.
He said: “The bus station is fit for purpose. We have tried it out and it looks like everything is fine. There’s plenty of room.
"We have new buses coming. We are putting something back into the town and to give it the boost that it needs.”
Phil Smith, managing director of bus company Rosso, said they ‘wish the venture every success’.
He said: “We are very pleased that the county council have made significant investment in public transport that’s aimed at increasing bus usage.
“We are looking forward to our services using the bus station. We will be an integral user as during the working week we have six buses departing every hour.”