Council knew of Yeadon Way cash deadline

Yeadon Way, one of Blackpool's main arterial roads, will be closed for up to six months from September for extensive repairs and improvements.'Cabinet member for Highways, Transport, Equality and Diversity Councillor John Jones (left) and Transportation Project Manager for Blackpool  Council Matt Edwards inspect a section of the road which has subsided.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'29-4-2014
Yeadon Way, one of Blackpool's main arterial roads, will be closed for up to six months from September for extensive repairs and improvements.'Cabinet member for Highways, Transport, Equality and Diversity Councillor John Jones (left) and Transportation Project Manager for Blackpool Council Matt Edwards inspect a section of the road which has subsided. PIC BY ROB LOCK'29-4-2014
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Dates scheduled for six months of work on the main route into Blackpool cannot be changed, according to the Government office in charge of funding the scheme.

Yeadon Way will be closed from the end of September until March next year as part of a £3.6m scheme to upgrade the damaged road.

Hoteliers yesterday called for the work to be moved to avoid a clash with the Illuminations, but the Department of Transport, which handed out the money to Blackpool Council, said the authority is in charge of setting the timetable for work, and the money has to be spent by the end of March 2015.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “They applied for the money for the work to be done in a particular time frame, and it’s up to them when they do it.

“When they bid for the money they were fully aware of when the money had to be spent.”

Coun John Jones, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “I recognise people’s concerns about any major road like Yeadon Way being closed during the illuminations season.

“Clearly it is not something anyone would welcome.

“However, as everyone will understand from the pictures we’ve shown of the road, the work is absolutely necessary to preserve Yeadon Way’s future.

“One of the first things we did when looking at the scheduling of works was to ask the Department of Transport if there was any flexibility over when we could spend the money.

“We were told there was not and it had to be spent by March 2015.”

Gordon Marsden MP for Blackpool South, said :“Clearly this major problem has to be addressed but it is important it is addressed in such a way that the economic impact is minimised for Blackpool, and in terms of visitor numbers coming into the town.

“That means we have to have the strongest and clearest estimate about the amount of time it will take and this morning I have spoken to officers from the council, here in London, about this.

“If it really looks like it will be an extended process we should at least try to see if the Department for Transport will carry over this period of time when the money can be spent.

“I’m more than happy to do whatever I can along with Paul Maynard (MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys) to encourage the Department for Transport to be more flexible, and that will hopefully help the town’s tourism and visitor economy.”