Inspection time for Prom carriages

Annual landaus inspections take place ahead of the new season.
Annual landaus inspections take place ahead of the new season.
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All set for the new season – that’s Blackpool’s landau horses which have been given the once over by council vets.

Owners congregated on South Car Park in Yeadon Way, South Shore the resort as licencing officers carried out the annual checks on the horses and carriages.

The 44-strong fleet now includes traditional landaus, plus at least five Cinderella-style carriages.

Operators say they welcome the inspections which ensure both the welfare of the animals and the safety of the vehicles.

Steve Stanley, who operates three landaus, said: “The inspections are a very good idea because just as a car has to be MOTed every year, the landaus need to be checked as it is about safety.

“The horses are given their health checks at the same time. Every horse which works on Blackpool Promenade is 100 per cent checked over.

“They are also all microchipped, and we are using the horse nappies which I also think is a good idea.”

Susie Bebbington, who has been licensed to operate a gold Cinderella carriage, said: “Everyone welcomes the checks and I think most people passed.

“My Cinderella carriage is already proving popular and I’ve had lots of nice comments about how classy it looks.”

Council licensing officer Ryan Ratcliffe took charge of the inspections which were held over two days.

Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council cabinet member for public safety and enforcement, said: “Ensuring the horses that work on our Promenade are fit and well is very important to us, as is ensuring the carriages are fit for public use.

“This is vital for the health and safety of the passengers as well as the good reputation of the town.

“I look forward to seeing the results and I hope we will see a 100 per cent pass rate.”

The horse nappies were introduced a few years ago in order to reduce the amount of dung being dropped on the Promenade.