Plans revealed on town’s new two-way bus lane

Blackpool Council's plans to make part of Central Drive a two-way bus lane and (below) Charlie Docherty.

Blackpool Council's plans to make part of Central Drive a two-way bus lane and (below) Charlie Docherty.

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Have your say

Business bosses, motorists and bus users are being encouraged to have their say on a proposal to make Central Drive a two-way street with a new bus contraflow system.

A Blackpool Council drawing, replicated here by The Gazette, shows how buses, hackney carriages and cyclists would be able to travel both directions along the main road, which is currently a one-way street.

The contraflow bus lane would follow Central Drive between New Bonny Street and Reads Avenue, and would allow its users to avoid the one-way system on Albert Road, Coronation Street and Reads Avenue to drive south down Central Drive.

The move is designed to improve bus travel around the town centre, and would shave three minutes off each bus journey.

It would also mean the replacement of traffic signals on the junction of Central Drive with Bank Hey Street and Albert Road, and the modification of the signals at Chapel Street and Reads Avenue.

Central Drive northbound from Reads Avenue will be reduced to one lane.

The bus stop currently on Coronation Street would be moved onto Central Drive, and the council has pledged to re-route alternate services onto the street.

The plans are currently being consulted on, and, if approved, are expected to cost £300,000.

The money will come from a £1m Better Bus government grant, successfully bid for by Blackpool Council last year.

It aims to increase the number of people using public transport by upgrading the service to reduce congestion.

Part of the proposal includes installing number plate recognition at traffic lights for buses on routes seven, nine, 11 and 14, enabling lights to stay green for longer to allow buses through.

Blackpool Transport’s Director of Delivery, Bob Mason, said: “By reducing journey times, this scheme will improve the bus services’ punctuality and reliability.

“This is good news for the millions of people who travel on our buses every year.”

Mr Mason said an assessment had been carried out into the number of passengers travelling from Coronation Street, which is set to lose a bus stop.

He added: “The numbers really are minimal, and we are rerouting another service to stop on Coronation Street.

“This all forms part of the consultation.”

If approved, work will begin on the new two-way system on November 10, after the Illuminations period has ended.

To take part in the consultation, write to Head of Transportation, Layton Depot, Depot Road, Blackpool, or email traffic.management@blackpool.gov.uk

Detailed plans show scheme will work

Speaking about the plans, a Blackpool Council spokesman said: “Detailed plans for the reconfigured junctions at Bank Hey Street and Central Drive, and Chapel Street and Reads Avenue, which are the main focus of the scheme, have now been prepared.

“Traffic computer simulation modelling demonstrates these designs work well, maintaining traffic flows and our consultation has revealed a good degree of support behind the proposal.”

The spokesman added the withdrawal of the service on Coronation Street would not adversely affect the immediate area.

He said in an agreement with Blackpool Transport and Blackpool Council, Line 10 will be retained on the route along Coronation Street.

Anyone with concerns is urged to take part in the consultation.

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