Council set to invest £6.4m in Blackpool tramway extension

An artists impression of the tramway extension
An artists impression of the tramway extension
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Councillors are being asked to approve the full implementation of the Blackpool tramway extension when they meet on Monday.

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The council’s executive is also being recommended to approve a £6.4m injection of cash to the scheme which will see the track extended up Talbot Road from North Pier to Blackpool North railway station.

Funding of £16.4m will be released to the council over the next three years from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership to fund the bulk of the project.

The council’s element of funding is from its capital programme, while another £600,000 of expenditure will come from the council’s local transport plan allocations, making a total cost of £23.4m.

Councillors are also being asked to approve a recommendation that “the scheme to extend the Blackpool tramway to North Station is fully implemented”.

A third recommendation, if approved, will approve legal agreements in relation to funding and contracts for the delivery of the scheme.

A council report says “extensive consultation has been undertaken with stakeholders and with residents.”

It adds “those in favour of the scheme significantly outweighed those that objected.

“At the end of this statutory process, the Department for Transport, on behalf of the Secretary of State, were satisfied that sufficient consultation had taken place and that due to the small number of objections it was not necessary to hold a public inquiry into the proposed scheme.”

Construction of the new tramway along Talbot Road begins next month with work phased so areas of Talbot Road and its junctions will be closed at one time.

It is expected to take 16 months to build the tramway extension, with services to North Station beginning in 2019.

A new tram terminal will also be built on the site of the Wilko’s store, which is due to relocate to Tower Street as part of the second phase of the Houndshill Centre.

Two new trams are also being purchased by Blackpool Transport to brings its Flexity fleet to 18 in total.

Taxi drivers had objected to the tramway extension because they warned it would lead to more congestion on surrounding town centre streets.

The council’s executive will meet at 6pm on Monday to consider the recommendations.