DCSIMG

‘Keep public in the loop’

Blackpool Town Hall

Blackpool Town Hall

The people of Blackpool should be better consulted on plans for new road projects in the resort, town hall bosses have said.

A council scrutiny panel has looked at existing rules used when making changes to road layouts – and concluded more should be done to widen consultation with people.

Some recent schemes, most notably reducing Central Promenade from two lanes each way to just one, have sparked controversy in recent times.

The panel looked at a number of projects within a six-month period, including changes made to the junction of Marton Drive and St Annes Road in South Shore, and to Manchester Square.

It concluded more could be done to improve consultation and ensure no one is “kept in the dark”, for example by using area forums and holding public meetings to allow residents to have their voice heard.

Coun Martin Mitchell (pictured), who led the scrutiny panel, said: “We found a lot of good practice to build on, and consultation with councillors is largely taking place.

“But sometimes a scheme has a knock-on effect on a ward further away and what we are saying is no-one should be kept in the dark.”

Lib Dem councillor Douglas Green, a member of the scrutiny group, said: “When work was done on the St Annes and Watson Road junction, only people who lived around the immediate area were consulted, but it did affect people who lived to the south of the junction and have to drive through it. So I think we need wider consultation.”

The scrutiny panel has made recommendations including that when changes to roads are proposed, the potential for rat runs elsewhere is considered, and that all relevant area forums – not just the one in the immediate area – are informed.

It also recommended all councillors were given regular updates and special public meetings are held when big schemes, such as the Central Drive bus lane, are being
proposed.

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