Film causes major disruption for Blackpool Transport

Blackpool Transport’s bus and tram services are set to endure major disruption during May, when part of the promenade is closed off for a high-profile filming session. Unfortunately, regular users of the tramway are set to suffer with the unpopular split service enforced during various events such as the annual illuminations switch-on ceremony set to make a very unwelcome return during the filming.

After a bumper weekend over the May Day Bank Holiday with an intensive heritage tram service set to operate, the following day will see the start of a period of considerable disruption. Scenes for a new film are due to be shot in Blackpool, which will reportedly involve an elaborate stunt using the Blackpool Tower. So that this can proceed unhindered, parts of the promenade will be closed off to pedestrians, road vehicles and trams between the Central and North Piers, from 0930 on Tuesday 5th May right through until 0800 on Saturday 9th May.

For the trams, the first two departures from Starr Gate at 0500 and 0530 will still run through to Fleetwood on all days. On the 6th, 7th and 8th May, no trams will be able to pass the filming site between the hours of 0600 and 1500 approximately, and so some will operate a limited service between Starr Gate and Manchester Square. Further trams will maintain a service from North Pier to Fleetwood Ferry, and this will presumably entail several trams being stabled at North Pier or somewhere further north for the duration, all of which will presumably be required to leave the depot in the early hours of the morning. This is therefore expected to be one of the longest periods of operation for the split service, which is normally enforced when events are held at the Tower Festival Headland. The buses will also be affected with a number of route diversions in place for the same time period.

In the past, it has been bad enough that tram passengers have had to walk past the closed section of tramway in order to continue their journeys – but this time will be much worse as they will have to traverse the back streets of Blackpool, with the promenade totally closed off in front of the Tower. As if this was not bad enough, the possibility has also been raised that a further closure of the promenade may be required the following week; the most likely reason being if the weather does not allow filming of the required scenes to be completed within the original set timescale. In this event, Blackpool Transport are advising customers that a second closure may occur between 0930 on Monday 11th May and 0800 on Saturday 16th May – with updates to be provided once it is known whether this will be deemed necessary.

Whilst the film will certainly put Blackpool in the limelight and should bring a big injection of cash to the resort, the disruption it will cause to local residents is unsurprisingly causing plenty of raised eyebrows and it remains to be seen how the town’s transport services will cope under such challenging circumstances.

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8 Responses to Film causes major disruption for Blackpool Transport

  1. Phil Hart says:

    I sympathise with the Blackpool public but think how it’s going to be for Manchester’s public when St Peter’s Square closes to Metrolink for 2 months from the end of June and with a further 2 months next year.

    • Ken Walker says:

      The dfference is that the St. Peter’s Square closure is a classic case of short term pain for long term gain with a large increase in Metrolink capacity resulting. The only gain from the Blackpool closure will be the £billions going into the coffers of the film company.

      • edwin newton says:

        Ken,the mere mention on x.amount of millions that this film company will make is nothing compared to the sheer misery that the travelling public will have to endure.My heart goes out to the tram passengers travelling to and from Fleetwood who aren’t entitled to a tram,bus pass.Blackpool council have shown their true colours this time by doing what they are doing and allowing this.The same thing happens when shows are put on the promenade headlands.The tram service is again disrupted.Blackpool shows its contempt for the people of Blackpool in the hope the town will bring in millions while mist of the towns residents have to suffer but still pay their rates to a incompetent council.

  2. Nigel Pennick says:

    Film makers have long considered that they have the right to close public places when they want to make a movie. They are profit-making private companies, and they have no legal right to take over public space for private gain. They pay money to the city authorities (who are supposed to be accountable to the public for their actions), and this money is assumed to be worth the disruption of the lives of members of the public who have no say in the matter. When video crews turn up and close the public highway, disrupting public transport, some of the money they pay the city should be paid as compensation to the passengers and locals who are inconvenienced by the businessmen (or women) who run the film company. This does not happen, and members of the public are ordered out of their own public space for the benefit of the few.

    • Ken Walker says:

      With the modern equipment now available it should be perfectly possible for the film company to create realistic scenes in a studio instead of disrupting peoples lives in this way. Visitors and tourists are ok, as long as they are aware (which many will not be) they can avoid the town and go elsewhere. It’s the residents and particularly the commuters that I feel sorry for, especially as the closure of the prom will no doubt lead to gridlock on the already congested town routes. I hope the businesses on the affected part of the prom will be seeking compensation from the council.

  3. suzannne says:

    I use blackpool trams at 06.15 from fleetwood five days a week. As it is i spend 3 hours a day walking too and on the trams a day commuting to and from work in st annes. A free months travel pass would be a good gesture to us regular customers for our inconvenience.

  4. Nostalgicyetprogressive says:

    With a General Election coinciding with the closure and disruption, certain local candidates might not be too pleased with the timing should the local commuters decide to vent their displeasure via the ballot box – it could be interesting to speculate to what extent this further inconvenience will effect the voting. Although it’s a national election, quite often it turns out to be local issues that count, as we have seen elsewhere with, for example, threatened hospital closures, etc. I suspect the ramifications of upsetting the travelling public could be far reaching!

    • Ken Walker says:

      Although it is a general election, there are also local elections in some areas. Interesting to think that some of the councillors might have bought themselves a single ticket to Oblivion, I didn’t know that particular extension had been built!