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New delay is a bridge too far for hoteliers

Old tram tracks have been uncovered during work to repair Lytham Road Bridge in South Shore, Blackpool.

Old tram tracks have been uncovered during work to repair Lytham Road Bridge in South Shore, Blackpool.

Hoteliers in South Shore today told of their frustration after Blackpool Council shelved plans to re-open Lytham Road Bridge.

The council was dubbed ‘inept’ by one business owner after admitting the important road link would now not be open to traffic until early July.

The bridge was closed on March 10 to allow work to resurface and strengthen the structure to be carried out by Network Rail contractors and was due to re-open in time for the Easter weekend.

But it yesterday emerged that further strengthening work is needed.

Owners of holiday accommodation on nearby Station Road previously faced three years of disruption when the bridge was deemed unsafe for buses - only for the council to lift the restrictions last October.

Jean Platt, of the Red Rose Holiday Flats, said: “The council is totally inept. First of all they said the bridge shouldn’t have been closed because there was nothing wrong with it and now this. It’s a shambles and seems to be really bad planning. The buses are again being diverted onto Station Road and the dirt and noise is an absolute nightmare.”

Chris Aiken Graham, of the Queen Victoria Hotel, added: “Business is terrible at the moment and I’m not sure if that is because of the bridge.It could certainly put off people who do not know the area. There were problems with the bridge 20 years ago - that is when the work should have been done.”

Coun John Jones, cabinet member for highways, said: “Once the existing surface was removed it became apparent that further work to the steel structure was required.

“This is not something that could have been known until the concrete was removed.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience and hope people will understand.”

 

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