Tram plan will slow up Prom says MP

Paul Maynard-MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys.
Paul Maynard-MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys.
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Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard is calling on constituents to contact him with their views on a planned extension of the tramway.

Mr Maynard attended a briefing earlier this month on the £22m scheme to extend the line from Talbot Square to Blackpool North Station.

The new tramway extension proposed for Blackpool

The new tramway extension proposed for Blackpool

The project has come under fire in some quarters with taxi drivers warning it will lead to additional traffic congestion at the junction of Talbot Road and the Promenade.

In his regular email to constituents, Mr Maynard said he was aware the issue was dividing opinion.

He says: “Inevitably, there will also be short-term concerns regarding the impact of the works themselves, the redesigning, once again, of the town centre layout, the replacement of some existing cobblestones, the possible disappearance of long-fought-for zebra crossings, and much more confusion besides.

“I also think we are inevitably going to see a slower Promenade journey once we have a separate turning light for the trams , however brief the interval.

“The key will be transparency about the ultimate objective, combined with a flexibility to recognise that delivering that objective will cause problems in the short-to medium-term that will require a degree of compromise.”

Blackpool Council has previously revealed there will be a traffic light system at the new tram junction for safety reasons, but says it will not “significantly impact on traffic flow”.

Coun Fred Jackson says similar junctions work well at Anchorsholme and in Fleetwood.

Mr Maynard adds there is a need to consider north to south transport links in general along the coastline.

He says: “We need to recognise north/south links are inadequate currently, and the Promenade cannot continue indefinitely to act as a primary north/south route.

“Both Devonshire Road and the outer roads past Stanley Park need to be fit for purpose as major arteries.”