Driver careers on to tram tracks

A car on the tram tracks in Anchorsholme

A car on the tram tracks in Anchorsholme

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AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after a car drove 50 yards along Blackpool’s new tram tracks

The drama bought trams in the area to a standstill for almost two hours as recovery teams removed the car.

The driver and a passenger were unhurt – though their vehicle suffered punctures and had to be towed off the line.

The incident happened at 8.50pm on Wednesday at the point where Fleetwood Road crosses the tram track in Anchorsholme.

Bob Mason, from Blackpool Transport, said: “The power had to be switched off between Bispham and Thornton Gate to allow us to get a tow truck onto the lines and remove the car.

“It is very difficult when you have an incident on the tramway. It’s not like a road accident where you can just drive around it – it affects the whole track.

“There was a tram on that section of the track at the time, but the passengers on that were able to get on a bus and get to where they were going.

“We don’t quite know how the accident happened because it is unusual for a car to be on the track at that point.

“It just appears it didn’t successfully make the bend and ended up on the tracks.”

The accident happened close to a controversial crossing at the junction of Fleetwood Road and Lauderdale Avenue.

It was closed by Blackpool Council earlier this year amid concerns over the safety of pedestrians and motorists, despite a petition to keep the crossing open signed by more than 3,000 locals.

But Coun Paul Galley, who helped lead the fight to keep the crossing open, said the latest incident was not connected.

He said: “I was driving back from a council meeting so I saw the car on the tracks and stopped to see what was going on.

“It seems this was just a one-off, freak occurrence. If it becomes a regular problem then obviously it would have be looked at but it’s the first time it has happened.”

Blackpool Council workmen removed the car by 10.40pm and power on the track was switched back on.

Coun Fred Jackson, portfolio holder for streets and transport, said: “We understand the tram service was suspended for two hours. The relevant authorities are being notified and a full investigation will be carried out.”