Work began this week on a £1million transformation of Chorley town centre which will see the removal of Chorley’s iconic ‘big lamp’ structure with the roundabout replaced by traffic lights.
Market Street will undergo a revamp with a 33-week programme of improvements planned for the southern end of the town centre.
The roundabout near the Asda development on the end of Market Street will be taken out and replaced with a traffic light junction and crossing points for pedestrians and bicycles.
The ‘Big Lamp’ structure, currently on the roundabout, will be relocated to a landscaped area nearby.
Once the highway work is complete, Market Street will have a “shared surface” meaning that pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles will travel on the same level.
It is hoped this will be more pedestrian-friendly and encourage reduced traffic speed.
The £1m of investment will largely be funded by ASDA as a requirement of their planning application and supported by funding from Chorley Council and Lancashire County Council.
The Asda project has been beset by delays, with work starting more than three years after permission was granted.
Asda Senior property communications manager, Philip Bartram, said: “We are very pleased to be commencing the works on site, after what we appreciate has been a delay for all parties involved. People in Chorley have been patient while certain aspects of the scheme have been finalised.
“This multi-million pound investment will deliver major regeneration to the Market Street area, along with the huge economic benefits of hundreds of salaries newly circulating in the area.”
Councillor Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said: “We’ve been putting pressure on developers for some time and we are glad that work has now begun.
“Improvements being made will vastly improve the public highway on Market Street to coincide with the construction of the store.
“The new supermarket will create up to 400 local jobs which will be a major economic boost for the borough, along with the creation of additional short stay car parking spaces that will have strong pedestrian links to the town centre and will in turn bring in more trade for businesses nearby.”
“Unfortunately, there will be some disruption to traffic but diversions will be well signposted in advance and work will be done in phases in order to minimise interference.”