Transport chiefs today welcomed the confirmation of Blackpool’s £22m tramway extension, describing it as the ‘linchpin’ of the second phase of the Talbot Gateway
The Department for Transport has now approved the scheme to run track up Talbot Road from North Pier to North Station.
The council had come under fire for starting enabling work before getting government approval.
Blackpool Council deputy leader Coun Gillian Campbell said: “This is a huge step forward in continuing to regenerate the Talbot Gateway, creating more jobs for people in Blackpool and creating a stronger economy for everybody in the town.
“This extension will not only capitalise on the electrification and growth in rail travel but it will make journeys for residents, commuters and visitors from the train station much easier.
“The extension will also work as a linchpin at the centre of the second phase of the Talbot Gateway.”
Jane Cole, managing director of Blackpool Transport, added: “Not only will the tramway extension have huge benefits for locals and commuters moving around the town it will also massively improve access for visitors coming in to Blackpool by train
“Two extra Flexity2 trams will allow us to cope with the extra demand and add on the extra services needed, which is also a huge bonus.”
But taxi operators said they were disappointed with the decision.
Bill Lewtas, of the Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association, said: “We are extremely disappointed the government has decided to back this scheme, despite a strong objection.
"Blackpool will become even more congested as a result of this.”