Pennine priority

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Eighteen new Optare Versas entered service on routes 6 and 7 last August. In Shaun’s words: “We’ve got something that looks the business.” GARETH EVANS

Blazefield’s Blackburn Bus Company is delighted with the £40m Pennine Reach project, delivered in partnership with two local authorities, which has revolutionised roadside infrastructure, helping traffic flow and included the construction of two new bus stations. Gareth Evans reports

Congestion and the lack of bus priority are the curse of many a bus industry professional, not to mention passengers. Then there are the complaints of dirty, inaccessible bus stops, with non-discernible information.

However, in a corner of East Lancashire, £40m has been invested in a package of improvements aimed at addressing all that. Pennine Reach, as it’s called, aims to: minimise congestion on the road network; reduce bus journey times and improve the reliability of bus services; improve public transport provision to key strategic employment sites; and support the regeneration of Pennine Lancashire’s towns.

Given the go-ahead on October 1, 2013, the Department for Transport provided […]

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