Blackpool still hopes to cut congestion on bus routes despite missing out on funding

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Transport chiefs are considering their next move after plans to improve the reliability of bus services in Blackpool failed to win government support.

The council had put forward a scheme which included creating four bus lanes to ease traffic congestion at pinch points including parts of the Promenade.

But Blackpool missed out on funding from the Department for Transport (DfT), which has set aside £3bn to support bus service improvements nationwide.

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The town's Bus Service Improvement Plan, which was published last October, shows almost £19m worth of proposed investment over three years.

A Blackpool Transport bus in serviceA Blackpool Transport bus in service
A Blackpool Transport bus in service
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A council spokesperson said: “Clearly it is disappointing that we will not be receiving any funding towards our Bus Service Improvement Plan proposals.

"The letter from the Department for Transport does say that they will offer feedback and that the door is not closed on funding for our proposals.

"We need to receive the feedback and understand how we could still access funding.”

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Blackpool's plan includes creating bus lanes on the Promenade, northbound between Lytham Road and Chapel Street; on Bispham Road, southbound between Samlesbury Avenue and Warbreck Hill Road; on Talbot Road, eastbound between Cecil Street and Devonshire Road, and Talbot Road, westbound between Mather Street and Devonshire Road.

Other priorities in the plan include -

Creating new services linking residential areas with employment opportunities, the Airport Enterprise Zone and Blackpool Victoria Hospital.increasing services in the evenings and weekends.Improvements to bus stops and shelters.More access to real time timetable information especially in the town centre, as well as simplified ticket offers.

The measures are aimed at improving the reliability and punctuality of services to encourage more residents and visitors to choose public transport instead of using cars.

Coun Neal Brookes, cabinet member for highways and transport, said in a report to the council's executive published last October: "Buses should be seen as reliable and cost effective transport for all, helping to support the local economy and address climate change."

Last month it was announced Blackpool is to receive £20m towards funding 115 new electric buses after a successful bid to the DfT's Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) fund.