Regeneration in Blackburn
Blackburn Boulevard Bus Station is a new £5 million development in the heart of Blackburn town centre, which is part of a wider £40 million regeneration of the town’s Cathedral Quarter. Construction on the facility first began in May 2014 and the new site was officially opened to the public on 1st May 2016.
The 11,800 square foot station was designed by Capita and has been built on part of the old market site on Ainsworth Street. The hub contains 14 bus stands and three layover facilities. The structure is 10.5-metres wide, 90-metres long and enclosed in full-height, frameless glazing and supported by six sculptural loops which were inspired by the cotton weaving looms of Lancashire’s industrial heritage.
A crucial part of the development was the upgrading of the surrounding lighting scheme, with the installation of a dynamic suite of LED luminaires to help guide passengers through the shopping district and around the bus station. Based on its long-standing reputation in the lighting industry, Schréder was commissioned by Capita to supply ten Shuffle modules to be installed at various locations throughout the site.
Funds for the project came from the Pennine Reach programme which is aimed at improving public transport links between Blackburn and Accrington. The initiative is funded by the Department for Transport and was jointly delivered by Blackburn with Darwen Council and Lancashire County Council, the highway authority for Hyndburn.
The Shuffle in action
The innovative Shuffle LED lighting columns have an improved quality of light distribution when compared with traditional HID products. In high-density areas that include both pedestrians and traffic, longitudinal uniformity of light is vital in providing clear routes for people to navigate safely in, out and around the bus station, especially at night or when ambient lighting levels are low.
The bespoke columns in Blackburn stand 6.8m high and are fitted with two 20 LED lighting modules: one 360-degrees module that has a symmetrical distribution of light around the entire column, and one 180-degree module that distributes clear white light asymmetrically, providing passers-by with a direct path to follow.
The contemporary design of the Shuffle enables the columns to blend seamlessly into the minimalistic aesthetic of the bus station and its surrounding environment. The modular nature of the Shuffle means it is future-proof: it can be upgraded at any point to meet the changing needs of the area. Additional functionalities that can be installed include Wi-Fi connectivity, public address systems, CCTV cameras and electric charging units—for both devices and vehicles.
The impact of LED lighting
Whilst planning permission for the development of the bus station was granted in early 2014, Schréder was not appointed until February 2016 to lead the selection of suitable LED products based on the specific needs of the project.
Two months later—in April 2016—the ten bespoke Shuffle columns were delivered to site and installed by electrical contractors CLG, ready for the public opening a few weeks later. By opting to upgrade the lighting scheme from HID to LED, Capita and Blackburn with Darwen Council have reduced the energy consumption of the site by approximately 50 per cent. In doing so, the costs associated with high energy use are massively reduced and should result in more public finances being available for other social redevelopment programmes in the area.