Cracks prompt big dig on track

Repairs to the new tramway at Blackpool.
Repairs to the new tramway at Blackpool.

WORKERS have begun digging up Blackpool’s tram track again – just weeks before the new service is set to launch.

Contractors have been told to replace some of the concrete laid as part of the £100m upgrade after cracks were found in some areas.

The damage comes in the same month as cracks were found in the new Promenade in front of the Tower.

But town hall chiefs today said the track repairs would not delay the launch of the new Bombardier fleet this Easter.

Parts of the tramway are also being dug up to install new points as part of the existing schedule of work.

Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for streets and transport at Blackpool Council, said: “I can assure residents the tramway renewal project is still on schedule and passengers will be able to use the new trams by Easter.

“At Manchester Square, Little Bispham and the Pleasure Beach we are replacing manual points with motorised ones.

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“This is work which had been programmed in and is a completely new addition to operation of the tram tracks.

“As the work is carried out by the contractors we constantly check that we are happy with the final result.

“In a few areas the top level of concrete has been cracked so we’ve asked for it to be replaced.

“This won’t delay the overall scheme but it’s important that after spending so much time and money that everything is perfect.”

Hotelier Peter Ashton, of Crescent Court, South Promenade, said he had been surprised to see the tram track being dug up again.

He added: “I saw the track had been beautifully laid, the high speed trams were out and everything seemed hunky-dory and then they started digging it up again.

“So it was a concern the service might not start on time.”

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