Battle goes on to save crossing

Councillors Tony Williams (left) and Paul Galley (second from left) with Anchorsholme residents outside Blackpool Town Hall. (Meeting re. tram crossing at Lauderdale Avenue, Anchorsholme).

Councillors Tony Williams (left) and Paul Galley (second from left) with Anchorsholme residents outside Blackpool Town Hall. (Meeting re. tram crossing at Lauderdale Avenue, Anchorsholme).

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to close a tram crossing are to go before Blackpool Council’s executive for a fifth time after campaigners won another stay of execution.

Last September, the executive voted unanimously to close the junction at Lauderdale Avenue, Anchorsholme.

But, following consultation, objections were received in response to the closure order.

These were considered by the executive in January, and dismissed to enable the closure to traffic.

Anchorsholme ward councillor Tony Williams has now ‘called in’ the decision to be re-examined.

It went before the scrutiny sub-committee on Monday which agreed to refer the decision back to the executive.

It will be the fifth time the cabinet has considered the issue.

The executive under the former Tory administration voted to keep the crossing open when it met in July 2010, while in July 2011 the Labour executive deferred a decision the first time it was asked to consider it.

Coun Williams said: “The fact it has taken this many steps shows there is obviously some doubt as to whether technically and legally, the council can close this crossing.”

More than 3,000 residents have signed a petition calling for the crossing to remain open. However, the council says it needs to close the junction to allow the resort’s new supertram service, due to begin this Easter, to run efficiently and safely, given the increased speed and quietness of the new rolling stock.

A pedestrian crossing will remain open, but residents claim closing the road access will cut them off from shops and a health centre.

Coun Williams believes the closure order is illegal because not all the statutory bodies have been properly consulted.

He also says the crossing is a right of way in more than 150 house deeds.

He added: “The meeting was told many of the house deeds had been superseded, but houses sold as recently as 2008 still have this as part of their deeds.”