Zero bill for depot repairs

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Blackpool’s transport chief has pledged work to fix the town’s tram depot roof will start in weeks – at no cost to the council.

Coun John Jones, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, spoke out after high winds in January ripped off part of the roof of the £20m tram depot at Starr Gate in South Shore.

Coun John Jones

Coun John Jones

The incident led to Squires Gate Lane being closed on January 10 after concerns about falling debris, with tram services also halted.

Coun John Jones, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The damaged section of the roof on the tram depot was made safe as soon as we possibly could and the building was made secure.

“The roof of the building is constructed of multiple layers but only the one outer layer was damaged, so the depot is still protected and operations inside were never affected and are continuing as normal. We’re now in discussions with the contractor and the insurance company to arrange a permanent repair.”

Winds of up to 60mph lashed the Fylde coast, leaving behind a trail of damage and debris.

Police were forced to close roads including Princess 
Parade and Bonny Street, as structures cracked and crumbled under the strain.

Coun Jones said work will start on the depot as soon as possible, but the taxpayer will not foot the bill.

He added: “What I want to be clear on however is that these repair costs will not fall on the council.

“The building is fully insured against such damage and the responsibility for the design and integrity of the roof rests with the contractor.”

The cold, wet and windy weather was a result of a strong jet stream in the Atlantic Ocean, with a cold air mass moving over from Canada.