Transport plan slammed for ignoring calls for a bus station

It is hoped Blackpool's new Transport Plan will help cut congestion
It is hoped Blackpool's new Transport Plan will help cut congestion
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A multi-million pound transport masterplan for Blackpool has been criticised as ‘lacking in ambition’.

The council’s Transport Plan, which sets our spending over the next three years, includes funding for road improvements and schemes to tackle traffic problems in the resort.

But Conservative councillors, who opposed adopting the strategy at a meeting of the full council when it was voted through by the ruling Labour group, branded a £600,000 investment in a new bus hub nothing more than ‘a glorified bus stop’.

They want to see a new bus station built in the town, something which is not included in the blueprint.

Coun Paul Galley said the Conservatives could not support the plan because of its ‘lack of ambition’.

He added: “There is no mention of a bus station, or about the aspiration to work with our shoulder councils on an extension of the tram link to St Annes.

“But especially there is a lack of ambition on a bus station. All we are seeing is a glorified bus stop.”

The plan includes a £600,000 bus hub on Corporation Street, to increase the number of bus stops, similar to the improvements recently carried out on Market Street.

Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member with responsibility for transport, said proposals that did not currently have funding had not been included in the Transport Plan.

He added: “I sit on a strategic group with people from Blackburn and Preston and we are always looking to do things for the future.

“The ambition is there and we are working on lots of things, and they might not come to be mentioned in there but we are doing them.”

The Transport Plan also provides for more than £1m to be spent tackling traffic congestion over the next three years, which includes £465,000 on improving traffic controls and £703,000 on enhancing the road network.

Measures being considered to cut the queues include widening some roads, making some streets two-way, a potential park-and-ride scheme based at Starr Gate and using more ‘intelligent’ traffic lights for the better management of traffic flow.

There is also £3m set aside for highway maintenance and £200,000 to be spent on road safety.