Anglers get hooked on permits scheme

Mark Silcock, chairman of Blackpool and Fylde Sea Angling Association, with his car on Lower Walk
Mark Silcock, chairman of Blackpool and Fylde Sea Angling Association, with his car on Lower Walk
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A PERMIT scheme to enable anglers to take their vehicles on to Blackpool Promenade has proved so popular additional badges have been issued.

Originally only 200 permits were due to be handed out but nearly 250 have been issued after the scheme was over-subscribed.

Anglers successfully fought to overturn a ban after they were stopped from taking their vehicles on to Lower Walk in 2009.

But since the beginning of September annual permits have been issued costing £30, or £10 for blue badge holders, as part of a 12 month pilot scheme.

Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for highways who gave the go-ahead for vehicles to be allowed back, said: “Initially we issued 200 permits but there was a waiting list so we approved another 21, and then there was another waiting list so another 25 were approved.

“All the information I have had so far is the scheme is running very well.

“The average number of cars using the Promenade at any one time is about 12 to 15.”

The anglers are helping police the scheme themselves to ensure only drivers with the correct permits drive on to the Lower Walk.

Mark Silcock, chairman of the Blackpool and Fylde Sea Angling Association, said; “There has been an overwhelming response and the scheme is running really well.

“I am going down myself to check the permits and there are no problems with crossing the tram tracks.

“People are over the moon, especially disabled and elderly anglers who can now take their cars down.

“Those who have permits and who live out of town are coming here and spending money in the local shops so it is also bringing capital into the local economy.

“We are now planning events including a national competition for next year and a kids club to give them lessons in sea fishing.”

The Fylde’s fishing community campaigned for two years to regain vehicle access after the council banned traffic on safety grounds.

Vehicles are restricted to travelling at 10mph and must park on the landward side.