Road closure fury sparks big U-turn

Taxi driver Stephen Kay who is angry about a new experiment to close access to the promenade from New Bonny Street.

Taxi driver Stephen Kay who is angry about a new experiment to close access to the promenade from New Bonny Street.

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ANGRY taxi drivers have forced a council U-turn over a proposal to close off an access road to the Promenade.

Blackpool Council was set to shut a section of New Bonny Street from today in an experiment aimed at easing congestion.

The road could have been closed for up to 18 months but unhappy cabbies opposed to the plans have forced a Town Hall re-think and the proposal has now been delayed.

Independent taxi driver Stephen Kay, 53, of Warbreck Drive, Bispham, said: “It’s absolutely ludicrous and it didn’t bear thinking about.

“For lads who drive it’s hard enough to make a living but this would have made it harder, it’s crazy. Anyone with a little bit of sense would know it can’t work.”

Blackpool Council consulted with Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association (BLTOA) on the proposal, but says it will now hold a further meeting with cabbies before making a decision on the road.

Bill Lewtas, secretary of BLTOA, said: “The taxi trade is very concerned about the decision to close this junction. We understand it is prompted by the Council’s wish to deal with Promenade congestion, but our view is this could be improved by them accepting the nearby zebra crossing is too close to the traffic lights.”

Fred Jackson, cabinet member for streets and transport, says he is “surprised” by the objections.

He said: “I’m surprised to hear the Association is now objecting as the meeting we had was very productive.

“The impact will be monitored very closely so it can be amended at any time.”