U-turn fears at tram crossing

Coun Tony Williams and coun Paul Galley at the Kelso tram crossing in Cleveleys which is due to be closed
Coun Tony Williams and coun Paul Galley at the Kelso tram crossing in Cleveleys which is due to be closed
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PROTESTERS fighting to keep a well-used tram crossing open will hold an emergency meeting next week.

It comes amid fears the crossing at the junction of Blandford Avenue and Lauderdale Avenue in Anchorsholme could close after all – despite locals believing they had won the battle to keep it open.

In July 2007, members of Blackpool Council’s executive committee agreed to maintain the crossing after nearly 160 residents signed a petition protesting at plans to close it off.

But it is now claimed council representatives confirmed in a private meeting with contractor Bam Nuttall and County Council Officials in June the crossing will close after all.

Town hall bosses have denied the claim and says the intersection is only being closed temporarily as part of the £100m upgrade of the tramways.

But Anchorsholme councillor Tony Williams says locals have had enough “contradictory” information and are demanding the truth.

He told The Gazette: “There has been a continued and prolonged exchange of contradictory and evasive communication with senior officers.

“We were told the crossing would stay open but despite this senior engineers from Blackpool Council did not pass this information onto the contractor Bam Nuttall.

“We now want the truth and assurance for the Labour council’s own promise that they will listen to what the people of Blackpool want and maximum disciplinary action taken against any officers who have failed in their duties or misled the people of Anchorsholme.”

Residents fear the closure would cut them off from community facilities with traffic having to use either the Anchorsholme Lane or Victoria Square crossings instead.

It could mean a walk of up to a mile to get to the next crossing for the elderly or those without transportation.

Resident Dave Hutchinson, of Ipswich Close, Cleveleys, said: “If the gates were closed we would have much further to go to the doctors and to access Cleveleys.

“The increase in traffic would be dangerous to children at school on St George’s Avenue and there would be an accident waiting to happen at the U-turn Junction at Victoria Square.

“About five years ago there was a little footpath across the tram tracks which was very handy, but they closed that off which was a great hindrance.”

The meeting will take place at the Baptist Church on St George’s Avenue at 7pm on Monday July.