Call for new Prom bus lane

Blackpool Promenade could return to four lanes.
Blackpool Promenade could return to four lanes.
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A special lane dedicated to taxis and buses should form part of a newly revamped Promenade, a transport chief said today.

Blackpool Council is set to consult the public on the future of the central stretch of the Prom, after its leader Simon Blackburn announced in The Gazette yesterday a number of alternative options to the present shared space format were being considered.

The current layout has caused controversy after being plagued by congestion and maintenance work since it first opened in 2011.

Philip Higgs, from Classic Bus North West, says his business has been affected by the congestion and believes any new format should have public transport in mind.

He said: “I don’t know if there’s any possibility of this but it would be good if there could be priorities for buses and taxis.

“The current Promenade just doesn’t work and it causes gridlock even at quiet times of the year.

“The whole thing was mistake, it was badly thought through by the planners that produced it and traffic in Blackpool needs to move.”

One of the options the council is considering is a return to four lanes, as well as an amended shared space layout and at least two other options for the Promenade which have yet to be announced.

Bill Lewtas, secretary of the Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association has also called for a return to four lanes.

He said: “Taxi drivers would support a reversion back to four lanes if the funds could be found. We said it was a mistake at the outset and we have been proved right.”

Meanwhile, Gazette readers have been having their say on the possibility of a return to four lanes, in total, 86 per cent of people who responded to our online poll supported the idea.

Click here to read how The Gazette broke the story:

EXCLUSIVE: THE END OF SHARED SPACE?

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