The car park extension provides an extra 67 spaces, and will relieve pressure on the existing 50-space car park which fills up quickly most mornings.
Almost 500,000 people currently use Burnley Manchester Road every year, with passenger numbers increasing over the last decade as a result of recent investment in direct rail services to Manchester made possible by the reopened Todmorden Curve.
The car park extension is part of a £12m programme of improvements to travel in East Lancashire known as the Hyndburn-Burnley-Pendle Growth Corridor, which has seen investment to busy road junctions in the local area including Burnley’s Rose Grove Lane / Accrington Road junction.
Funding for the Growth Corridor project has come from central government via Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s £320m Growth Deal Fund, together with support from Lancashire County Council and Burnley, Pendle and Hyndburn councils.
The car park extension marks the final element of the Growth Corridor programme to be delivered, and follows-on from a range of measures focused on boosting the local economy by improving access to key employment sites and relieving pressure on transport pinch points to help people and goods travel more efficiently.
Burnley Manchester Road station has been improved significantly in recent years with a new station building, secure car park with CCTV and new customer information systems. The role and function of the station has been transformed from a simple halt to a state-of-the art facility providing a modern gateway for East Lancashire – and the car park extension marks the next milestone in the station’s ongoing development.
Lancashire Enterprise Partnership Chair, Debbie Francis OBE, said: “The LEP’s Growth Deal supports projects which drive new economic activity and create jobs, and the Hyndburn-Burnley-Pendle Growth Corridor is a great example of how it helps to enable growth.
“This specific element of the scheme at Burnley Station also demonstrates how having an integrated approach to transport investment not only brings benefits to local road and rail users, it also adds value to Burnley’s overarching inward investment offer.”
Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “The car park extension is another example of the work being done by Northern and our partners to improve the journey experience of passengers and will make a significant difference to our customers.
“We are working hard to make sure our stations are safe, accessible and welcoming places for customers and these changes will make a big difference. I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work.”
County Councillor Aidy Riggott, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for economic development and growth, said: “The Growth Corridor programme is really significant for the future of East Lancashire as companies will only invest if they know their goods and employees can travel efficiently.
“With the increased demand for commuting, educational and leisure travel on the Roses Line, Todmorden Curve and East Lancashire Line services to and from Colne and Preston, these additional parking spaces will be much welcomed by Burnley’s travelling public, and support the future growth of the town’s railway services.”
Councillor Afrasiab Anwar MBE, leader of Burnley Council, said: “The completion of this project marks the next milestone for Burnley’s primary railway station, building on the improvements to the station facilities and direct services to Manchester, and setting the scene for the further ‘Access for All’ improvements which will see direct pedestrian access between platforms and other improvements, and which form part of our Levelling Up Fund programme approved last year.”
Antony Higginbotham, MP for Burnley said: “Our local economic growth depends on having the right infrastructure to support businesses and encourage more people to choose Burnley as the place to live, work and study. Creating more spaces to park at Burnley Manchester Road, which is now our most used and modern rail station, is a small part of that. It will make it much easier for people to park up and commute to work or university, whilst keeping Burnley as their home. And it is another example of the investment we are making into local transport infrastructure.”
Richard Watts, Chair of Community Rail Lancashire said: “I’m delighted that the car park extension at the Burnley Manchester Road Station is now open. Usage of the station has significantly increased since the opening of the new station building and the introduction of the direct service to Manchester, and the additional car parking spaces will mean more people will be able to enjoy the benefits of rail travel.
“Community Rail Lancashire will continue to encourage more people to use the railway and ‘Try The Train’. The additional car parking spaces along with the planned access improvements at the station will make this a first-class gateway to Burnley.”
The new car park is covered by CCTV, with landscaped grassed areas planted with wildflower seeds. Work is due to take place later this year to provide extra disabled parking on the existing car park next to the station building.