‘Awesome’ future set for historic tram shelter, despite reservations

Bispham tram stop at the top of Red Bank Road
Bispham tram stop at the top of Red Bank Road
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The locally-listed tram shelter in Bispham is set to become a cafe with rooftop terrace.

A banner has gone up at the 85-year-old building saying it will be ‘opening soon’, while a website has been launched with a countdown timer to ‘something awesome’.

Joan Humble (pictured), chairman of Blackpool Civic Trust, said she was pleased to see the historic building set to reopen.

“It’s an interesting landmark on the Promenade and Blackpool Civic Trust welcomes the fact that it’s found a new use that will add to the attractions in the area.

“The Red Bank Road area has been developing new cafes and restaurants, and this will add to the offering for both tourists and residents.”

The cafe would employ six full-time staff and four part-time workers, planning documents lodged by chartered surveyor Alan Jones, of Church Street in Blackpool stated.

But concern has been raised about traffic, including by Mark Anderson, highways manager at Blackpool Council, who said he would ‘require a condition preventing the parade becoming a car park for staff and customers’, and Latif Patel, network and projects manager, who said: “The area around the tram shelter cannot become a car park and this should be restricted and conditioned – we cannot have a repeat of the situation that occurs around the Beach House, west of the Tramway, opposite the Tower.”

Steve Hoddy, who owns the nearby Bispham Kitchen, The Top Chippy, and The Cafe Royal, and who lives in Red Bank Road, objected to the scheme, citing worries over traffic safety, and the impact on the rooftop terrace poor weather conditions may have.

In a letter to the council, he said his objection “in no way relates to trade competition”, and argued: “The junction of Red Bank Road and the Promenade is the most elevated point on the Fylde coast, and, over the decades, I have seen several extreme weather events which have caused considerable damage in this area.

“What chance would a glass balustrade and roof furniture stand when placed in the most elevated position possible on the Fylde coast?

“Furthermore, if items from the roof terrace were lifted by hurricane-force winds and flung over the side of the roof terrace, they would land either on top of members of the public waiting at the tram stop, on the tram track, the electric cables or on trams themselves, or in the road at the junction.”