Department for Transport's National Productivity Investment Fund
Blackburn with Darwen Council has been successful in its bid to open up streets around King George's Hall to boost business and entertainment in the area, with the bid to the Department for Transport's National Productivity Investment Fund being approved.
The £2.9 million project aims to open up Northgate to through traffic at Sudell Cross to improve access to King George’s Hall and the new Reel Cinema development,as well as give direct access from Barbara Castle Way onto Tontine Street (one way direction changed) to provide easier access to local businesses and King Georges Hall. Pedestrian facilities between the Town Centre and the Whalley Range area will also be significantly improved.
The project will remove vehicle congestion and conflicts, improve movement and access to significant new development sites, addressing issues which have been raised in previous consultations on Blackburn Town Centre.
The project aims to generate further economic activity and local productivity in the Blackburn inner urban and Town Centre area.
Other changes include:
- Victoria Street changed to in-only with additional on-street parking created
- A new link road constructed at Richmond Hill for direct egress onto Barbara Castle Way from the Mall
- Richmond Terrace opened up at the Victoria Street end
- New and significantly improved pedestrian facilities across Barbara Castle Way to aid crossing movements between Whalley Range and the Town Centre
- Additional on street car parking created at Sudell Cross and Richmond Terrace
July 2019 update
- The Sudell Cross / Northgate package of the project is at an advanced stage with final paving and carriageway works set to complete in August 2019
- Pavement works on Northgate outside Blackburn Magistrates’ Court have commenced – linking the Blakey Moor / Northgate / Sudell Cross works
- Richmond Hill Link Road Earthworks are well under way with Tontine Street now closed at the Richmond Hill end. Unchartered services and asbestos piping have been found in the Barbara Castle Way verge and are being addressed
- Access for Businesses at the Victoria Street end Tontine Street has been temporarily amended via Victoria Street, with additional signage introduced on Barbara Castle Way for customers
- Setting out for the Utility/Service Diversions (Electricity cables) relating to Richmond Hill Link Road to be undertaken by Council Highways late July
- Safe working distances of 1.5 metres to 2 metres will be needed – which will impact on Solicitor business parking areas
- Council Highways will work with Utility Companies to reduce the impact of this working area (moveable and dependent on activities) on an ongoing basis
- Electricity North West: to commence works start of August on Richmond Hill – with the diversion element lasting between 6-8 weeks
- Construction of the Richmond Hill Link Road to follow on by Council Highways – with works programmed to complete on this section by the end of 2019
June 2019 update
- Works are at an advanced stage on the Sudell Cross / Northgate element of the scheme with the following elements undertaken:
- Initial carriageway surface base laid at Northgate and Sudell Cross
- Excavation and kerbs laid at Preston New Road
- Footway flags laid at the rear of the new kerbs
- Central Reservation excavated on Barbara Castle Way
- Trial trenches to the Central Reservation at Barbara Castle Way excavated
- Ducts excavated and laid at Barbara Castle Way
- Exchange Street between Tackett Street / Mall parking ramp and Preston New Road will be closed in the evening of Wednesday 3rd, Thursday 4th, Friday 5th July from 6pm – 6am to enable resurfacing to be carried out. Advance warning signs have been put up to notify highway users.
- Kerbing, paving, drainage and carriageway construction works will continue.
August 2018 update
Following the information sessions attended by businesses and the general public which took place at Blackburn Museum and Blackburn Library at the end of July, the Council has produced a summary of the events, with responses to comments made and updates on scheme progress.
December 2019 update
- Electricity North West and BT diversion works taking place at Richmond Hill / Richmond Terrace
- Final additional paving now complete in the Sudell Cross area
- Drainage at Richmond Terrace / Richmond Hill / Exchange Street progressing
- Richmond Terrace/ Richmond Hill new carriageway construction going in – with compacted stone to be layed
- Barbara Castle Way crossing points, tactile paving and edgings being realigned, plus install of tarmac
- Traffic management to be reduced in advance of Christmas 2019