Court battle looms over Blackpool tram depot

Blackpool Council is involved in a legal battle over repairs to the tram depot roof at Starr Gate.

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 1:52 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th December 2018, 2:58 pm
The roof of the tram depot following wind damage in 2015

A sum of £298,000, shared equally between Blackpool Council and Lancashire County Council, has been spent on legal fees in relation to the dispute which is due to be heard in the high court in February.

Part of the roof of the £20m depot was ripped off during high winds in January 2015.

In a written answer to a question put to him at full council by Coun Tony Williams, council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said it was hoped to recoup the money.

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He said: "These legal costs have been incurred in connection with a claim against the contractor who built the tram depot, following the failure of the roof.

"As with the rest of the original tramway project, these costs are shared with Lancashire County Council so Blackpool Council’s commitment is half of this figure.

"We are confident of a good outcome and this case is scheduled to be heard in the high court in February next year.

"If we win, we would expect costs to be awarded as well so this money would then be recovered."

Reports at the time of the storm in 2015 said the outer layer of the roof of the tram depot was damaged causing part of Squires Gate Lane to be closed due to concerns over falling debris. Some tram services were also halted.

Winds of up to 60mph had lashed the Fylde coast, leaving behind a trail of damage and debris.

The depot opened in 2011 and was built as part of the £100m upgrade of the tramway to house 16 Flexity trams.

The figure of £298,000 was included in a report to the tourism, economy and resources committee which said Blackpool Council had spent just over £1.6m on external consultants during 2017/18 compared to just over £2.3m during the previous financial year.