Possible disruption as square works start

Talbot Square, Blackpool
Talbot Square, Blackpool
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WORK has started on a £300,000 scheme to upgrade Talbot Square.

The project will see changes to the carriageway and new signals at the junction with the Promenade.

Motorists have been warned of possible disruption, but the council says it is carrying out the work during the winter in order to keep delays to a minimum.

There was uproar last winter when the Promenade was closed for several months for changes which saw the road reduced to a single lane in each direction.

Once completed, there will be more space created in front of the town hall and the Travelodge, which can be used for public events.

The existing island in the centre of the square will be removed so all the traffic flows through the north side of the square. The number of lanes will remain the same.

Plans show a new zebra crossing opposite The Strand to enable pedestrians to reach the town hall.

Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for highways on Blackpool Council, said: “We want to get the work done at the quietest time of the year before the holiday season and avoid the work taking place in the new Central Business District.

“Also it will tie in with the PFI (private finance initiative) on street lighting and signalling.

“We believe the completed scheme will enhance both the flow of traffic and the safety of pedestrians while making the square more attractive.

“It will create a lot of extra space in front of the town hall and the Travelodge which we can then use for public events.”

The project, which is due to be completed in time for Easter, is being funded through the Local Transport Plan using cash ringfenced for highways.

Road closures are expected, with temporary traffic lights in place but the council has not yet decided on a traffic management programme.

The scheme will also see the relocation of taxi ranks.

The existing rank outside The Counting House will be moved further up the square to a location outside Rumours, while a new taxi rank will be created on the corner of Market Street near the Che Bar.

Changes are earmarked for other sections of Talbot Road as part of the development of the area around North Station.

The first phase of the £220m Central Business District will see a Sainsbury’s supermarket and new offices built.