Delay as tram extension bid is scrutinised

The new tramway extension proposed for Blackpool

The new tramway extension proposed for Blackpool

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Controversial plans to extend the Blackpool tramway have been put on hold.

The town’s executive committee had been due to agree the next steps towards the construction of a £22m link between the track at North Pier, up Talbot Road to Blackpool North railway station.

But councillors voted to defer a decision so they could examine the proposals in more detail.

They were asked to recommend to full council that an application is made to the Government to authorise the extension.

It is expected the report will now go before the next meeting of the executive on June 20 which is still in time to agree a recommendation to go before the next full council meeting on June 29.

Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for municipal assets, said: “There were issues we just wanted to be sure about before we move forwardon this . It is just looking at the detail.

“It will be coming back to the next executive and will then go to full council for a decision.”

In April the council agreed to purchase the Wilkinson’s building on Talbot Road to develop a terminal for the proposed tramway extension.

However critics of the scheme, including taxi drivers, have warned the extension will increase congestion on the Promenade. But the council says a traffic light system will ensure road traffic flows smoothly.

The extension will link the tramway with national rail services for the first time.