Motorists could be facing a year of traffic misery as roadworks to improve junction 13 of the M65 are to begin later this month.
Work is due to start on Monday, February 22nd, to create room for more traffic at the Nelson junction as part of the next phase of transport improvements to boost economic growth in the Pendle area.
The work at junction 13, worth around £1.5m. and similar to that carried out at junction 10 at Burnley, is scheduled to be finished in early 2017. The aim of the project is to create better access to a number of local development sites such as Barrowford Business Park and Trough Laithe as well as improved connections to Nelson and Colne College, Nelson town centre, and the A682.
The work will involve creating extra capacity for traffic by modifying the layout of the two roundabouts at junction 13 with up to four traffic lanes in places.
Traffic lights will also be added to the roundabout on the west side of the motorway.
There will also be other minor works in the vicinity to improve capacity for traffic and provide safer pedestrian and cycle access.
The upgrade is part of a series of schemes totalling £12m. being undertaken in the Hyndburn Burnley Pendle Growth Corridor.
The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership Growth Fund has stumped up £8m. with further contributions totalling around £4m. from Lancashire County Council, and Burnley, Pendle and Hyndburn borough councils, along with the European and Regional Growth Fund.
County Coun. John Fillis, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The improvements to motorway junctions on the M65 will create better access to business and development sites, also ensuring they are easier and safer to access on foot and by cycle.
“We will try to keep disruption to traffic to a minimum by doing work which affects traffic lanes outside peak times where possible.
“However, some delays will be unavoidable, and I’d advise people using junction 13 to leave more time for their journeys.”
Leader of Pendle Council, Coun. Mohammed Iqbal, who leads on economic development, is one that is hoping the scheme will create the infrastructure to unlock potential future growth in the borough, ensuring businesses and housing developers can invest without congestion becoming a barrier to growth.
He said: “The improvements to junction 13 will be a vital step in creating better access to Nelson and Colne College, Nelson town centre and Barrowford Business Park.
“We’re pleased work is progressing well to improve the M65 and key links to the motorway here in Pendle.”
Work currently underway to improve capacity at junction 12 of the M65 at Brierfield is due to finish in the coming weeks.
Other growth corridor schemes include the recent improvements carried out to Manchester Road and Rose Grove railway stations in Burnley.