Bus fears allayed as work set to start

Central Drive, between New Bonny Street and Reads Avenue, Blackpool.
Central Drive, between New Bonny Street and Reads Avenue, Blackpool.
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Transport chiefs have agreed to plans for a contra-flow bus lane in part of Blackpool – despite objections from some road users who fear the scheme will add to congestion.

Town hall bosses considered a number of concerns in relation to the plans to introduce two-way traffic on Central Drive between Reads Avenue and Albert Road, in Blackpool, before approving the plans.

A number of objections were raised as part of an extended consultation.

Issues highlighted included fears that reducing Central Drive to one lane in each direction would “cause additional congestion and delays to vehicles travelling north.”

In order to prevent this, the junction with New Bonny Street will be widened in order to provide a “release valve” to ease any traffic build up, according to the plans.

Work is expected to begin next week on the £300,000 project funded by the Department of Transport as part of the council’s successful Better Bus Area bid to save time on bus journeys.

Coun John Jones, cabinet member for transport on Blackpool Council, who approved the scheme, said: “Although the formal consultation process had ended when I took over the portfolio, I continued to meet with people and discuss their concerns with them.

“I wanted to make sure we had carried out as much consultation as possible, and as a result we have carried out some tweaking.

“I am happy the proposals should ease congestion at times when it is really busy on Central Drive and Albert Road.”

Concerns were also raised about parking, but no spaces are being removed.

Right turning bans at junctions from Central Drive will also be introduced to prevent taxis holding up traffic.

New route to avoid one-way system

The contraflow bus lane will follow Central Drive between New Bonny Street and Reads Avenue.

It will be open to buses, Hackney cabs and cyclists who will be able to avoid the one-way system on Albert Road, Coronation Street and Reads Avenue to drive south down Central Drive.

However it means there will only be one north-bound lane instead of the current two lanes.

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