Public Realm Enhancements

A condition of the funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund is the enhancement of the Public Realm. This is targeted on making Bacup a more pedestrian friendly environment with the aim of boosting footfall.

Together with Lancashire County Council, a new proposal has been created. The focus of the plans is to improve pedestrian safety, reinstate the town square as well as encourage people to shop in the town centre.

To view an aerial CGI view of the proposals, please click here.

To view a low level CGI of the proposals, please click here.

To view a cross- section of the proposals, please click here.

To view a vehicle movements of the proposals, please click here.

To view presentations delivered at the Public Meeting held on the 4th July 2017, please click here.

Please see below answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the proposals:

How do the Public Realm proposals relate to the Bacup THI project?

A condition of the £1.5m in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund is that improvements are made the Public Realm area in the centre of Bacup.  This is to ensure that the improvements maximise   the benefits of restoring the historic character by promoting a more pedestrian environment and increasing footfall in the town centre.

How are the Public Realm proposals funded?

The Bacup THI Project has earmarked £418,722.00 in total from the common fund to spend on the Public Realm aspect. Further funding has been sought in order to pay for other elements like street furniture, planting of trees and landscaping.

What are the aims of the enhancements to the Public Realm?

  • To restore current street and walkway surfaces to provide acceptable surfaces for both pedestrians and motorists.
  • To improve the environment of the area for pedestrians living and working and visiting the town centre.
  • To effectively manage and slow down the vehicular traffic whilst making the area safer for pedestrians.
  • To provide pedestrian crossing
  • To promote St. James square as a destination by increasing the public area enabling the facilitation of community events and street markets.  
  • To increase the attractiveness of the area for residents, visitors and businesses by introducing trees, new seating, heritage lighting and a larger event space.

How are the changes to the road layout funded?

The Public Realm Scheme has been designed in partnership with Rossendale Borough Council and Lancashire County Council. As the Heritage Lottery Funding is unable to contribute to changes to the road layout, i.e. the installation of Zebra Crossings and installation of 2 x new roundabouts further funding from Lancashire County Council has been secured.

What is the desired outcome with the large space created in St James Square?

A way to ensure there is a lasting impact on the town centre is by providing enough reasons for people to come to Bacup. The improvement of the shop fronts as well as the work to bring back vacant historic floor space into use to encourage new shops would partly achieve this. Having a space for businesses to trade outside, pop up markets and events would also be a key driver in achieving further footfall in the square over the long term.

What are the reasons for changing the current road layout?

Local residents have previously expressed concern that the existing gyratory system and the confusing stop and give way arrangements are not conventional. There are currently no zebra crossings in the area for pedestrians to cross the road safely. The town square has recently been dominated by vehicles and pedestrians have been inconvenienced.

How would traffic flow around the two roundabouts and zebra crossings?

Lancashire County Council has completed traffic modelling to show that all vehicles including HGV’s can negotiate around the proposed system. The new measures would slow traffic in the town square down, ensuring that the focus remains on pedestrian safety. Please see document CHA1P1431-006 Vehicle Tracking to show HGVs negotiating the system. Once the final version of the highways project has been confirmed further more rigours testing would be conducted by LCC. 

What would happen with parking in the Town Centre?

There would be two additional bays added to the parking on St James St, these would follow the same restriction as the rest of the bays on the street, 30 minutes maximum parking. There would also be five bays added to King Street by the removal of the current taxi rank bays. The Council is also exploring other options to increase the car parking in the town centre.

What would happen with the bus stops?

The bus stop servicing the 464 route from Rochdale to Accrington would change location. It is currently sited at the end stand on St James St. The bus currently completes a complex manoeuvre to pick up and drop off passengers. The 464 Rochdale to Accrington bus route would no longer use this stop, which would be turned into five taxi ranks, and would continue the journey via the new road layout to a new stop on Market Street.

Would Union Street be made one way and would any buses be using this street?

There would be no changes to the current road system on Union Street.

How are traders on St James Square able to load and unload?

Every business on St James Square would have a viable loading solution. Each business that requests support would be given an individual loading plan that would be assessed by a LCC Highways Engineer to ensure that goods can be brought in/out of shop premises.

What would happen to the current centre piece?

The ex-fountain which has been out of use for many years won’t remain in the town centre.  Another centre piece would be commissioned which would be unique to Bacup. A decision is yet to be made on the design of this and the Bacup THI project welcomes any ideas for this piece.

What type of street lighting would be used?

The project board are yet to decide on the final design of the lighting units which would take into account the historic character of Bacup.

Would there be any street furniture and greenery?

Bacup Town Centre would be made as attractive as possible for current residents, businesses and visitors to the town. There would be benches and seating on the town square as well as trees and shrubs close to the kerb line.

Is the zebra crossing in the middle of the two roundabouts necessary?

The aim of the enhancements to the Public Realm is to revive the town square. It is crucial that pedestrians can cross from one side of the square to the other. All zebra crossings in the scheme will be subject to a legal advertisement and modelling of traffic flow.

Is the zebra crossing at the bottom of Yorkshire Street necessary?

The vehicle and pedestrian count information collated by Lancashire County Council confirms that the most popular place for pedestrians to cross in the town centre is at the bottom of Yorkshire street and therefore it is essential that there is an allowance for the zebra crossing subject to legal advertisement.

What level of disruption would be encountered during the roadworks?

Lancashire County Council have confirmed that 9 months away from construction a detailed programme would be provided to the project board, this would be subject to change as the project delivery approaches, shops etc. would be given as much notice as possible. 

How long would it take for the scheme to be completed?

Lancashire County Council would be delivering the road scheme and approximate time frames so far suggest approximately 6 months. This would be subject to change on approval of the final design.

What happens if the current Public Realm proposals don’t go ahead?

A condition of the funding is to deliver enhancements to the Public Realm. If the current proposals don’t go ahead, then an alternative design would be produced subject to consultation. This would still involve improvements to the public space in the St James’s Square area to allow the whole community to benefit from the project. The project has assigned £418,722.00 to complete Public Realm improvements.