Victoria Street Northgate link transport project

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 2020 update

  • Richmond Hill Link Road is now substantially complete with a much improved pedestrian environment at the Exchange Street / Mall off-ramp area
  • Richmond Terrace is now open for through traffic
  • Barbara Castle Way resurfacing and lining was completed over the weekend of the 4th and 5th of July
  • Works are nearing completion in relation to footway upgrades at junctions
  • Traffic signals at Babara Castle Way / Richmond Hill Link Road / Victoria Street will be commissioned on Friday 10th July by Siemens
  • Victoria Street will then be opened to inbound traffic with increased parking for businesses
  • Outbound traffic using Richmond Hill Link Road will be able to turn left and right at Barbara Castle Way
  • Road closures for slot cutting (traffic detection) are programmed for Sunday night (12th July) between 6pm and 2am on Victoria Street / Richmond Hill and Barbara Castle Way
  • Additional echelon parking for nearby businesses will be provided on Exchange Street
  • The scheme is set for completion in August 2020

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

February 2020 update - progress to date

  • Sudell Cross / Northgate: works 90% complete. 2 build outs and 1 drainage gully to be completed.
  • Tontine Street / Barbara Castle Way: Road excavation to formation level 90% complete. Kerbing and footway construction ongoing 80% complete. Central reserve road and footway construction complete. Traffic signal poles installed and 3 additional traffic signal boxes installed.
  • Richmond Hill / Richmond Terrace: Installation of street lighting and traffic signal ducting ongoing. Gully connections completed. Road excavation to formation level 90% complete. Kerbing to Mall Car Park approach complete.
  • Victoria Street / Barbara Castle Way junction: Traffic signals ducting installation ongoing

Planned activities for March 2020

  • Tontine Street / Barbara Castle Way: Kerbing, block paving and footway construction, landscaping to Barbara Castle Way central reserve area, surface planing Sunday 1st March, final surfacing on Sunday 8th March – traffic restrictions will be in place in the Town Centre. New traffic signal installation to follow on completion of carriageway surfacing.
  • Richmond Hill / Richmond Terrace: Kerbing and footway construction to completion, construction of brick boundary wall, installation of new street lighting columns, knee rail fencing installed, carriageway lining. Surface planing Sunday 1st March, final surfacing on Sunday 8th March – traffic restrictions will be in place in the Town Centre.
  • Victoria Street / Barbara Castle Way junction: Installation of temporary traffic signals before final installation.