Tackling transport woes is priority for Blackpool Tories

Work to lay tram tracks on Talbot Road
Work to lay tram tracks on Talbot Road
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Blackpool's Tory leader has pledged to make transport a priority if his party seizes control at this May's local council elections.

Conservative group leader Coun Tony Williams warns the resort needs a transport hub which brings bus, train and tram services together.

This could involve exploring the possibility of extending the tramway even further across the town.

Coun Williams said: "Another £18m is being spent on extending the tramway to Blackpool North railway station.

"The disruption this has caused has been widely reported and I genuinely feel
for the businesses who are suffering and who feel they are being driven out of our town.

"Whether or not the extension delivers the benefits which have been promised remains to be seen.

"What is clear is that it must only be the start of a wider expansion of our tramway network, one of the jewels in Blackpool’s crown, with the
potential to deliver real benefits and opportunities for the wider Fylde coast.

"The Conservatives stand ready to explore all options to grow the network.

"Better public transport is crucial and I’m committed to creating a transport hub for our town, building on the £255m investment in our railway and bringing together bus, train and tram for the convenience of the travelling public.

"At the same time, we need to take a serious look at our road network, to ease congestion and ensure people are able to travel around town. "

He called for a more joined up process between the council and existing businesses when it came to planning regeneration schemes.

Coun Williams added: "Of course, big change has already been promised, in the form of a £300m investment in the Central Station site.

"I’m sure I’m not the first to say it’s about time.

"Although there are many who were disappointed with the actual announcement after speculation the council had attracted a much bigger name to the resort.

"The development of this site has been more than 50 years in the making and needs to deliver the big bang for Blackpool which has been promised.

"I’ll never turn my nose up at private investment and the entrepreneurial spirit,
however, I do have my reservations.

"I would have much preferred to see a multi-use event, retail and entertainment venue on this site which would deliver a genuine year-round visitor experience."