Prom road scheme hit by controversy

Potholes appearing along Blackpool promenade.
Potholes appearing along Blackpool promenade.
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THE new Promenade has been dogged with controversy.

During the work to reduce the carriageway in front of The Tower from four lanes to two, there was anger from drivers facing long delays.

Since the scheme opened in June 2011, a 20mph speed limit has been in force but during the busiest times of the year, traffic flow has been even slower, prompting calls for a return to four lanes.

There has also been criticism of the shared space concept introduced as part of the project.

It means pedestrians and vehicles have equal rights and traffic is meant to stop to allow people to cross.

But disabled groups including the Blind Society have hit out at the scheme, and said it was difficult for visually impaired people to differentiate between the road and the pavement due to the lack of kerbs.

An audit of the new layout, by transport planning consultants Phil Jones Associates, recommended changes were made including the addition of a new crossing in front of The Tower, that bollards and street furniture be introduced to define the shared pavement and road areas, and 20mph signs put in place.

Work on the zebra crossing is due to start later this month, and will mean there are four on the stretch between New Bonny Street and Talbot Square.

The consultants identified that “very few drivers gave priority to pedestrians starting to cross.”

Cracks first started to appear in the carriageway 12 months ago, just months after the work had been completed.

On that occasion the problems were described as small scale, and repairs were carried out overnight in order to minimise disruption.

But queues have formed once again in recent times due to further work having to be carried out after the appearance of the latest damage.

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