DCSIMG

Bus cash boost...but will they be on time?

Central Drive and Coun Tony Williams (below).

Central Drive and Coun Tony Williams (below).

Doubts have been cast over whether investment in new technology will make Blackpool’s buses run on time.

Work is due to be completed at the end of this month on a £1.5m scheme to create a bus lane on Central Drive.

As part of the project, funded through the Government’s Better Bus Fund, automated numberplate recognition technology is being put in place to give buses priority.

It is hoped the move will help improve punctuality.

But Conservative group leader Coun Tony Williams said: “I welcome the fact this council has applied to a Government-backed scheme to help with traffic movement both in the town and within the access corridors.

“However I am sceptical as to how they will actually manage or utilise the new technology they plan to implement.

“Important passenger information software and equipment designed to help with the same ‘cars to tram’ scheme, that was part of our party’s initial bid for the new tram system, has still not been installed more than three years after the new trams started running.”

But Coun John Jones, cabinet member for highways on Blackpool Council, dismissed the concerns.

He said: “There have been detailed discussions about this project, which I have been involved in, and I am quite confident this technology will be utilised fully.

“I believe it will make journeys better for service users on the buses and for road users as a whole in the town centre.”

The work, which is due to be completed by February 28, will see part of Central Drive between New Bonny Street and Reads Avenue made into a two-way street for buses.

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