The controversial road crossing at Lauderdale Avenue on the northern stretch of the
Blackpool tramway has finally been closed for good, as upgrade works draw to a close. A previous attempt to close this crossing was met with howls of protest from local residents who insisted that the crossing was vital access point, and was later reinstated, but this time it seems that the work being undertaken is of a more permanent nature.
Locals have fought long and hard against Blackpool Borough Council to try and retain the tramway crossing at Lauderdale Avenue, near Cleveleys, with a petition attracting a hugely positive response, but all the effort has seemingly been in vain as the Council’s final decision was to close it for good. Work has been started this week on ripping up the tarmac, which would obviously make a reversal of this decision much harder to act on. Amazingly, the crossing had only been resurfaced last autumn following a previous failed attempt to close it, which seems like a terrible waste of resources and has understandably added insult to injury in what was already a controversial subject. The fact that fresh tarmac had been laid just months before the crossing was removed seems to represent a serious lack of forward thinking.
Anchorsholme Councillor Paul Galley said: “On the day that 75 posts are made redundant by Blackpool Council I think it’s absurd that we witness this massive waste of money, to firstly lay the road surface last autumn and then dig it up so soon. How much has this cost and judging by how Blackpool Council have ignored over 3000 residents, the emergency services, the local health centre and churches by closing the crossing I doubt they even care about the money. This is about closing the crossing and making it as difficult as possible to reopen it. It’s a very sad day for local democracy and common sense”.
Although some people had claimed that the crossing was dangerous and its closure would
prevent numerous accidents and near-misses, it is clearly an emotive subject which has created a lot of negative publicity for the tramway – something it really could do without at such a crucial point in its existence. Ignoring the views of local emergency services is also unlikely to go down well with the people of Anchorsholme. With an intensive ten-minute service between Starr Gate and Fleetwood planned to run all year round, it is vital that the people of Bispham, Cleveleys and Fleetwood support the upgraded tramway and upsetting too many of these people could prove damaging to the whole project.