Blackpool bus lane plan for the Promenade unclear after Government snub
Transport chiefs are considering their next move after plans to improve the reliability of bus services in Blackpool failed to win government backing.
The council had proposed a scheme which included the creation of four bus lanes to ease traffic congestion at pinch points, including parts of the promenade. But Blackpool has missed out on funding from the Department for Transport (DfT), which has set aside £3billion to support improved bus services nationwide.
The city’s bus service improvement plan, which was published last October, shows nearly £19m of proposed investment over three years.
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A council spokesperson said: ‘It is clear that we will not receive any funding for our bus service improvement plan proposals. The letter from the Ministry of Transport says that they will offer comments and that the door is not closed to funding our proposals. We need to receive feedback and understand how we could still access funding. »
Blackpool’s plan includes creating bus lanes on the promenade, northbound between Lytham Road and Chapel Street; on Bispham Road, southbound between Samlesbury Avenue and Warbreck Hill Road; on Talbot Road, eastbound between Cecil Street and Devonshire Road, and Talbot Road, westbound between Mather Street and Devonshire Road.
Other plan priorities include –
- Create new services linking residential areas with employment opportunities, the airport business area and Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
- increase evening and weekend services.
- Improvements to bus stops and shelters.
- More access to real-time timetable information, particularly in the city centre, as well as simplified ticketing offers.
The measures aim to improve the reliability and punctuality of services in order to encourage more residents and visitors to choose public transport instead of using the car.
Councilor Neal Brookes, cabinet member for highways and transport, said in a report to the council executive: ‘Buses should be seen as a reliable and cost-effective means of transport for all, helping to sustain the economy local community and to combat climate change”.
Last month it was announced that Blackpool would receive £20m to fund 115 new electric buses after a successful bid to the DfT’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) fund.