Crossing fight is set to continue

Councillors Tony Williams (left) and Paul Galley (second from left) with Anchorsholme residents outside Blackpool Town Hall.
Councillors Tony Williams (left) and Paul Galley (second from left) with Anchorsholme residents outside Blackpool Town Hall.

THE fight will go on! That was the vow from residents in Anchorsholme after a last ditch bid to persuade Blackpool Council to keep a tram crossing open failed.

Anchorsholme councillors Tony Williams and Paul Galley challenged last month’s decision by the council’s executive to close the junction at Lauderdale Avenue to traffic.

But a meeting of the call-in committee rejected their request for the issue to go back before the executive.

That means the decision will stand.

And a leading Blackpool councillor argued that if the council got it wrong on the crossing, it may jeopardise the tram service to Fleetwood.

However, residents are continuing their battle through legal action against the council.

Coun Williams said a judicial review was being sought at the High Court, while residents are also seeking legal advice in relation to information in their house deeds which says a crossing must be maintained.

A complaint is also being made to the local government ombudsman.

Coun Williams told the committee: “We want the tram crossing open in a way that is safe and sustainable for the residents.

“We’re not asking for a victory, we’re asking for common sense and a solution.”

Residents will still be able to cross the tracks at Lauderdale Avenue by foot, but they also want traffic to be able to cross.

But the council says keeping the junction open to vehicles would be dangerous, while a signalised crossing would lead to traffic congestion in the surrounding streets.

Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “This decision is not just about Lauderdale Avenue.

“It is about the future of the tramway.

“If we make the wrong decision on Lauderdale Avenue we may not have a tramway that runs to Fleetwood.

“That’s what we have to consider – £110m of expense that would be wasted if we made the wrong decision.”

Afterwards Coun Galley said he was disappointed with the outcome.

He said: “The residents have not been listened to on this.”