East Lancashire will soon benefit from a new green transport project that has received £40m to kick off new improvements for the Pennine Reach bus network. The funding will be used to upgrade the bus line and create new bus stations to increase the efficiency of the bus network at Accrington and Blackburn. The entire East Lancashire is expected to benefit from the upgrade that will officially begin now that Norman Baker the Transport Minister has signed off on the project.
The upgraded bus network will be referred to as the Pennine Reach and was created with the purpose of improving the transportation links between the urban areas in the region of East Pennine and its sub-regions: Darwen, Blackburn, and Accrington. It is also hoped that the new transport plan will help boost green transportation options in the area while also helping to boost the local economy.
Improvements to the bus network include building the two new stations as well as creating dedicated bus lanes, more use of smart card ticketing, new parking restrictions to help traffic flow more fluidly, traffic lights that favour buses, and improving facilities for cyclists and pedestrians in the traffic control system.
Baker commented that the new scheme is going to help offer a much needed boost to the economy of East Lancashire while also offering a great public access route to green public transport. He added that the new connections will help link the bus system with the rail system and easily link key towns in the area to each other.
He added that the choice to put £40m into the green project demonstrates that the coalition government is aware of how important it is to build sustainable transport in local towns as a way to boost the economy and help preserve the environment at the same time.