Blackpool North Station extension “hold-up” claims denied

The plans for trams to run to Blackpool North Station are still progressing as expected Councillors have been told despite claims to the contrary. At a recent council meeting, Cllr Tony Williams – who to give him his credit has been a staunch opponent of the tram plans for quite some time and doesn’t seem to be giving up any time soon – has claimed that Wilkinson’s new store will not be ready until 2020 which he has said will mean the new tramstop will not be able to be built in time for an opening of the line in 2019.

The short extension of the Blackpool Tramway will travel up from the Promenade and along Talbot Road before terminating at a new stop located on the land currently occupied by Wilkinson’s. Obviously in order for this to happen the store will have to be demolished with Wilkinson’s due to relocate elsewhere in the town. It is now claimed that negotiations for their new store are not at an advanced enough level which means they won’t be able to move until 2020 – a year after the land is expected to feature the tram terminus.

Despite this claims by Cllr Williams, the ruling Labour party have denied these negotiations will derail the tram plan. Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader on the Council, said: “This is a complex project but negotiations are at an extremely advanced stage with several parties involved including Wilko, the Light Cinema Group and the Houndshill Shopping Centre. Agreements for all the work and moves have been drawn up with lease details now being finalised ready for signing. As with other major work, we have no doubt that this development will go ahead and be completed well before 2020 with no impact on the plans for the tramway extension.”

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