Work has begun on Ellison Fold Way, the new East Darwen link road, which will make it easier for residents and businesses to access the M65 and will also improve a number of local road junctions in the vicinity.
The new road, which will lead from Marsh House Lane to Ivinson Road, is intended to allow for future high quality housing developments in Darwen and provide increased accessibility and travel options across Darwen.
The road that will cut across the site known locally as Baileys Field, will also mean that residents of the new developments will have an alternative to the A666.
It will be a single carriageway with a speed limit of 30 mph residential road including footways and cycling paths, and will also be weight limited to 7.5 tonnes.
There will also be junction tables to keep speeds down and associated landscaping and tree planting for noise reduction.
The £3 million scheme, funded by Blackburn with Darwen Council and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership as part of Central Government’s Local Growth Deal, will also see safety improvements made to several junctions in South East Darwen.
Work on the junction of Sough Lane and Grimshaw Street has already begun, which will see improvements for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.
The junction, identified through consultation as a road safety hotspot, will see a compact roundabout installed and vegetation removed to aid sight lines. Pedestrian crossing points with tactile surfacing will also be constructed.
Junctions at Watery Lane and Grimshaw Street as well as Ivinson Road and Moor Lane are also earmarked for work.
The scheme is being constructed by Eric Wright Civil Engineering and is due to be fully complete by Spring 2019.
Executive member for Regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen Council, Councillor Phil Riley, said: “I’m delighted that work can finally begin on this important new investment in Darwen. This new route not only supports our priorities as a Council to provide high quality housing it will provide a boost to the local economy as both businesses and their staff will be better able to access the M65. In addition, the improvements to the junctions will improve road safety and help address concerns people have about congestion.”
Diane Bourne, managing director of Eric Wright Civil Engineering, added: “We’re pleased to be working in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Council to improve connectivity, provide better transport infrastructure and reduce congestion for those who live and work in the local area, as well as supporting wider economic growth. We’ve extensive experience in road schemes and are doing everything possible to plan and manage the programme of works to help keep traffic moving and minimise inconvenience and disruption for road users.”