Linking Blackpool’s £100m tramway to Blackpool North train station is a long term ambition of the town centre strategy launched this week.
Hopes of extending the tramway up Talbot Road remain firmly on the table and according to the report, progress could be made in the next few years dependent on funding.
The strategy says: “There is an opportunity to promote this mode of travel to maximise its usage and improve integration with other modes of travel, including extending the tramway to Blackpool North train station.”
Blackpool has joined forces with Blackburn with Darwen Council and Lancashire County Council to take more control of transport spending than is presently allowed by central Government.
The report says accessibility is key to the success of the town centre.
A review of the Promenade and a parking strategy are underway and new roads are being built as part of the Central Business District.
The strategy recognises there is much improvement needed in terms of access.
Road signs are described as ‘confusing’, the town ‘lacks quality information boards’ while car parks have been ‘established in a piecemeal manner.’
Coach arrival facilities are also judged to be poor.
The report admits some bus services ‘don’t penetrate the retail core due to stops relocating from Corporation Street and St John’s Square’.
However, a signage strategy has been completed, and a parking system seeks to manage car parks more efficiently and flexibly.
Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for transport and streets on Blackpool Council, said there was a lot of work to be done.
He said: “The town centre strategy sets out opportunities for the future development of our transport system, some of which are hopes for the future and others are upcoming developments.
“That means everything from enhancing the entrance to Blackpool North station via the new Central Business District development to the expected resumption of direct trains to and from London and the redevelopment of the Talbot Road multi-story car park. Improving navigation through the town through improved signage and design is another objective that has been identified while the council has, for a long time, aspired to extend the tramway to Blackpool North.
“This is a long-term strategy with a range of objectives which will not be recognised overnight but it does help to identify key aims and issues for the future.”