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Removal of rail station bus stops under £40m scheme branded "crazy"

The Church and Oswaldtwistle station stop will not be in use from next week

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Posters alerting passengers to the closure of the bus stop at Church and Oswaldtwistle train station.

A decision to remove bus stops from outside a train station as part of a £40 million public transport scheme has been labelled “crazy”.

A notice has been placed on bus stops at the Church and Oswaldtwistle railway station informing passengers that they will no longer be in use from Monday, January 18.

Passengers are advised to use the nearest bus stop located at Oswaldtwistle Mills.

County hall transport chiefs say the stops have been relocated under the Pennine Reach rapid bus scheme and have apologised to anyone inconvenienced by the move.

However, Oswaldtwistle councillor Peter Britcliffe has urged transport chiefs to rethink the ‘ill thought out decision.”

Hyndburn councillor Peter Britcliffe

In a letter to Lancashire County Council, he said: “It’s absolutely crazy, it just seems such nonsense.

“It makes no sense to me as I thought the great buzzword in public transport was to link up services, for example bus and rail.

“In fact that was the justification given for the site of the new bus station in Accrington. That it was adjacent to the rail station.”

Chris Anslow, public transport development manager for Lancashire County Council, said every bus stop along the corridor of the Pennine Reach scheme was re-examined at the planning stage.

He said: “They’ve all been renewed or upgraded, however we also proposed to remove some of them. There is a high concentration of stops near the railway station with the nearest at Oswaldtwistle Mills being less than 200 metres away.

“These have been upgraded to a better size and standard than space allows at the railway station, and offer much better protection from the elements. These stops also have laybys so that buses can pull in without holding up the traffic. Another benefit of these stops is that sightlines are better for people to cross the road, and it’s therefore a safer location.”

He added: “We’re sorry if anyone is inconvenienced by the closure of these stops but hope everyone will appreciate the wider benefits that Pennine Reach will bring to public transport in the area.”

The £40 million scheme aims to encourage more people to use public transport between Accrington, Blackburn and Darwen, and make journeys more reliable.