Decision delayed for Blackpool North tramway extension

Blackpool Council’s executive committee have delayed their approval for the North Station tramway extension so they can examine the proposals in more detail. It had been expected that the committee would be recommending to the full council that a formal application is submitted to the Department for Transport but at their most recent meeting they instead decided to give themselves some more thinking time.

The £22 million scheme to extend the Blackpool Tramway up Talbot Road to North Station is due to open in 2019 with construction starting the year before and would see a more integrated transport network allowing passengers to easily get to and from the national rail network on the tramway. However there has been some controversy in Blackpool with some – including taxi drivers – saying that the line would add to congestion on the Promenade (we seem to be heading back to the 1950s/60s here with claims that trams add to congestion rather than helping to stop it). You would even think that taxi drivers possibly have an ulterior motive for not wanting trams to run to the station wouldn’t you?!

Cllr Fred Jackson, cabinet member for municipal assets, said: “here were issues we just wanted to be sure about before we move forward on this. It is just looking at the detail. It will be coming back to the next executive and will then go to full council for a decision.”

It is now expected that the executive committee will make a decision at their next meeting on 20th June with this then passed on to the main Council meeting on 29th June.

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9 Responses to Decision delayed for Blackpool North tramway extension

  1. Nigel Pennick says:

    Oh what a shock for the councillors – someone wants to lay tramlines in a road in Blackpool! They will have to think about it for two or three years before they cancel it for not being “in the pubic interest” (like the Leeds trolleybus project).

  2. Sam Flynn says:

    As far as I’m aware the decision was always due in on the 20th, it was simply on the agenda for the previous executive meeting so no need to rush it then. Once it passes to full council a transport works order can be sent off to the Secretary of State for transport. If all goes to plan it’ll be moving on to construction planning in a few months.

    • Sam Flynn says:

      I should add that even if it was passed at the last meeting, it would still take the same time as it will now, as there’s no full council until after the next executive anyway.

      • Nigel Pennick says:

        There has been no devolution in transport decisions, despite the government’s trumpeting the so-called ‘Northern Power-House’. Hence local decisions must go to London for approval with all the bureaucratic delays and the likelihood of arbitrary cancellation when finally Whitehall gets round to a decision.

  3. John Gilbert says:

    This is Britain. No one ever hurries and, after all, this scheme – just 600 yards – has already been ages and ages in the making. No one has any idea here about getting a move on!! Gormless idiots is my view!! No drive. No wonder the rest of the world is leaving us further and further behind!

  4. nostalgicyetprogressive says:

    One has to approach the matter of possible disgruntled taxi drivers with some caution, as it is not unknown for cab drivers to act in quite a vindictive manner if they fail to get just what they want. On more than one occasion hackney carriage drivers have staged ‘slow driving’ protests in major cities to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the local authorities, often over terms and conditions. So why not over what they might claim as ‘unfair competition’ from a new tram link to Blackpool’s main rail terminal? Such go-slow situations have caused significant traffic flow disruption and imagine this in high holiday season along the Golden Mile! Unfortunately, we have to accept that by the very nature of their occupation, taxi drivers have the power to cause chaos on the roads if they so choose, and if they were to do so too frequently, anxious would be holiday makers and day trippers may prefer to go elsewhere. When it comes to competition, Blackpool is perilously close to Morecambe Bay and the Lake District. Whilst it is true that nobody should give into bullying, the Human Right to protest sometimes facilitates it. It is therefore likely that Blackpool Council will need to be prepared for skillful diplomacy and tough negotiations, before they can make headway over this extension.

    • Paul D says:

      Blackpool Taxi Drivers already have their own unique way of disrupting the Tramway – its called the Metropole Hotel Entrance…

    • Ken Walker says:

      Taxi drivers always want all their own way, only interested in themselves and not the slightest bit bothered about what suits the travelling public.
      The council should monitor any go-slow protest and withdraw the taxi licence of any driver caught taking part.
      There will be no congestion caused on the prom by trams going to and from the station, it would involve one extra phase in the traffic lights once every 5 minutes on a 10 minute service, same as at every other signal-controlled junction on the system.

    • Nigel Pennick says:

      If people who don’t like buses decided to blockade a bus depot, would the operators close the service down permanently to appease their action? This is a recipe for mob rule.

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