Blackburn Bus Station

Stunning new bus interchange in Blackburn Town Centre
Blackburn with Darwen Council
1,127 sqm
March 2016
Client's Specification


Eric Wright Construction completed works at Blackburn Bus Station on the old market site on Ainsworth Street. The development included the completion of the bus interchange including passenger terminal and associated external areas, comprising bus parking bays with 14 stands, public realm paving and landscaping. The new bus station also provides refreshment and toilet facilities.

The enclosed glazed structure creates a naturally vented and heated environment with the bus apron on one side, with automatic doors that only open when a bay is occupied by a vehicle. The 90m-long building is supported bysix ‘sculptural loops’ which have been ‘inspired by cotton weaving looms’.

Key elements of the new building include: a counter area at the hub building providing verbal and printed public transport information; large information screens on arrival directing passengers to bus stands; smaller screens at the stands showing scheduled or real time departures; a Journey Planning Unit where passengers can buy and top-up NoWSTAR smartcards; an ATM cash machine; female, male and disabled WCs; a “grab and go” food and drink vendors and newsagents; seating areas for passengers to await departures; and internal and external CCTV controlled and monitored within the building.

Owners of the adjacent shopping centre, The Mall were planning a new entrance and appointed Simons Construction so we established weekly coordination meetings with Simons covering aspects such as deliveries and planning.

Additionally, our site adjoined the temporary bus station which accommodated over 10 bays. Robust traffic management plans were implemented, supported by regular dialogue with Highways and the bus operators to ensure the bus station continued without disruption.


Shortlisted for a RIBA North West Award 2017

Regional Finalist in the Civic Trust Awards 2017

00_hard-hat_one   23 Work opportunities created                           local-workforce   99.2% Local workforce                            ccs-score   39/50 Considerate Constructors score

Key Challenges

The design imposed tight restrictions on set-up as the architecture was all about creating clean lines of sight. All joints had to meet with less than 2mm tolerance and nothing could move out of line over a 60 metre building.

There were four elements which worked together – perimeter structural glazing, internal and external GRP cladding/soffits, 1.5×1.5 metre internal paving and secondary steel work for bus bay doors.

Establishing a quality assurance regime was essential to deliver the vision and the site management team carried out daily inspections, supported by our in-house Clerk of Works undertaking quality audits.

Added Value

Blackburn with Darwen Council asked us to take over delivery of the bus station following a dispute with their original principal contractor who had been dismissed from the scheme.

The bus station had been severely delayed and the Council faced pressure from local businesses and residents to get the facility open.

Following surveys and inspections, we developed a revised 36 week programme which allowed for remedial works, along with progressing the new build.

A firm opening date was agreed and achieved, enabling the Council to fulfil its promise to the Blackburn with Darwen community.

Client feedback

“It will bring the comprehensive use of bus lanes with the latest technology such as automatic special gates and barriers and traffic signals that go green for the buses to the borough for the first time. “The comprehensive package will bring us up to the standards passengers have come to expect in other major towns and cities such as Manchester are used to.”
Cllr Phil Riley
Councillor for Blackburn and Darwen Council

Get in Touch

For all enquiries, please get in touch with the team here at Eric Wright.