More changes to Prom on cards

Taxi drivers Les Hamer, Steve Buckley and Bill Lewtas by the closed crossing.
Taxi drivers Les Hamer, Steve Buckley and Bill Lewtas by the closed crossing.
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TOWN hall chiefs have revealed they are working on a “comprehensive” set of new options for Blackpool’s beleaguered Central Promenade.

As revealed in Friday’s Gazette, a zebra crossing on the controversial shared space has already been closed and will be permanently removed in order to ease congestion.

But Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn says further changes are in the pipeline.

Plans are being drawn up and if it is decided to go ahead with them, work will be carried out next winter.

Coun Blackburn said: “Following numerous meetings and discussions, there was clearly a need to provide clear direction in this matter – which is why I have intervened.

“Everyone can see what the issues are. I want a Promenade that is easy for people to cross but people have to be able to move around the town as well.

“A comprehensive series of options for the Promenade is being prepared, alongside an independent report on traffic flow, to come before cabinet before the summer break.

“My plan then would be to consult on those options, make sure we’ve got a plan that’s workable and do the work over the winter of 2013 and the spring of 2014 and have it open and ready for business by this time next year.”

The £2.5m scheme, which saw the Promenade reduced from four lanes to two, has come under fire since it opened in June 2011. It was agreed under the previous Conservative administration.

Work begins on March 4 to remove the zebra crossing to the north of the junction of New Bonny Street and the Promenade which has been blamed for causing the worst of the jams.

Bill Lewtas, of Blackpool Licensed Taxi Association, said:“We have been concerned about congestion in the Town Centre ever since the Promenade was changed.”

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