Pennine Reach - the proposal
Pennine Reach focuses on the trunk bus routes between Accrington and Blackburn via Clayton-le-Moors, Great Harwood, Rishton and Oswaldtwistle and between Accrington, Blackburn and Darwen.
Key Features of Pennine Reach
New bus stations in Accrington and Blackburn town centre.
The new, modern bus stations are vital to the scheme and are intrinsic to achieving a step change in public transport across Pennine Lancashire.
- at key congestion hotspots/junctions, a mixture of bus lanes and bus priority is proposed to improve bus journey times, whilst still ensuring that overall road capacity is not affected and that the overall impact of congestion is kept to a minimum
- a fleet of high quality, modern, comfortable buses
- improved bus stops and bus waiting facilities
- minor transport interchanges are proposed in some principal locations, providing enhanced waiting facilities over and above simple bus shelters
- a new smart ticketing system allowing passengers to buy tickets before they travel and travel between different bus operators
- up to the minute bus information accessible via the internet, mobile phones and digital displays at certain bus stops
- safer pedestrian crossings and improved cycle facilities
- management of some on street parking to reduce congestion
- on street parking will be affected in some areas, to give buses the priority required and to aid traffic flows
Current Status of the Scheme
The Pennine Reach Major Scheme Bid was first submitted to the Department for Transport in April 2009 following extensive consultation and planning dating back to 2005. The Final Approval Bid for Pennine Reach was approved by Lancashire County Council's Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport on 11th April 2013 and Final Approval for the scheme was given by the Department for Transport on 1st October 2013.
The total cost of the scheme is £40m with £31.9m coming from the Department for Transport, £2.73m the County Council and the balance being met by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and a variety of section 106 agreements with developers.