TRAFFIC lights are to be installed outside Accrington Town Hall in a bid to stop cars from racing through the restricted road.
The partly-pedestrianised section of Blackburn Road, which is open to buses and some council vehicles, has been branded "an accident waiting to happen" by concerned councillors.
Despite having been closed to cars since the mid-1990s, vehicles have continued to use the stretch as a rat-run, with many near-misses for crossing pedestrians.
Lancashire County Council has agreed to fund a traffic light system in the zone, where lights will only turn green for authorised vehicles.
But while the measures were welcomed by Accrington's Town Centre Regeneration Board, many felt the proposals did not go far enough.
Councillor Peter Britcliffe, chairman of the board, said: "I am concerned that it is an accident waiting to happen.
"We either open it up and have it as a road or we close it down and have it pedestrianised - it is not an option to leave it as it is.
"We are told that the buses want to go through and I sympathise with the bus companies, but they can't go through if it is dangerous.
"I feel very strongly that it should be pedestrianised - the democratic will is to change that road and it has to prevail."
Councillor David Myles added: "The area looks pedestrianised; there are planters and benches and the wrong coloured tarmac for a road - it says 'this is a pedestrianised zone'.
"Perhaps local people are used to the fact there are buses coming through there, but people from outside the area are not."
Russell Revill, operations director for Lancashire United Burnley and Pendle, welcomed the proposals for the temporary traffic lights.
He said: "There has been a lot of talk about taking a holistic approach to the town centre and here is an example.
"If closing the road is the will of the people, as far as we at Lancashire United are concerned, that is fine.
"We would like to see a safe environment, but by doing that you would take buses up Eagle Street and down the back of Church Street, which I suggest would make it very difficult for people crossing."
Suggestions were put forward to re-open the bottom of St James Street to allow easy access for buses.
Board members agreed to the traffic lights as a temporary measure.