Promenade work follows review

Traffic congestion on the Prom
Traffic congestion on the Prom
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Measures aimed at improving traffic flow and pedestrian access on Blackpool’s Central Promenade have been carried out after a review last year of controversial changes to the carriageway.

A new zebra crossing has also been installed in front of the Tower so people can cross the road more easily to reach the Comedy Carpet, while part of the carriageway near Church Street has been resurfaced.

Highways bosses have also agreed to permanently remove traffic lights at the junctions of the Promenade with Talbot Square and New Bonny Street after a year long trial showed the changes had helped cut congestion.

Coun John Jones, cabinet member for highways, said: “Last year, we held a consultation into the future of the Promenade and got feedback from disability groups, transport companies and residents.

“Three main things came out of the consultation. People want good traffic flow, pedestrian safety and a fit for use highway.

“Since then, we have introduced give way priority at the Talbot Square junctions to help traffic flow, as well as the zebra crossing to improve pedestrian safety.

“Repair works to fix the road when problems arise are taking place. All this work is making sure that the road is fit for everybody to be able to use.

“In order to make sure we don’t impact on commuters that work is done through the night and we will continue to do that with any future work.”

Changes have also been made to the junction at Manchester Square and the Promenade. Contractor Eon, which is upgrading traffic signals throughout the town, has widened the pavement in front of the Manchester Pub.

It means the slip road from Lytham Road has been removed and motorists now approach a T-junction instead, including those wishing to turn south.

Questions have been raised about some of the changes.

Taxi driver David Palmer said: “They have now done away with the dedicated left hand lane and bunched the traffic up into one lane which is no doubt going to create a pinch point regarding traffic.

“I am also concerned about the superwide zebra crossing they are putting outside the Tower entrance as this will cause major congestion.

“They should use puffin crossings on the Prom as recommended by highway authorities when there is a large concentration of pedestrians.”

Resident John Garnham, of Marton, said: “At best the changes to Manchester Square mean there might be a sharp hairpin turn at the end of the island.”

The council said the changes had been made to make the junction safer for pedestrians, and were not expected to impact on traffic flow.