One way road to doom, say traders

Derek Niven the owner of Lighthouse Stationary.
Derek Niven the owner of Lighthouse Stationary.

PLANS for a one way traffic route into Fleetwood will put a stranglehold the town, say traders.

The shopkeepers are furious Lancashire County Council is poised to impose the one-way traffic system on part of North Albert Street.

They fear for their businesses if the move goes ahead, cutting off motorists wanting into get to the town centre from The Esplanade.

Stephen Kelly, of Kelly’s Tramway Cafe on North Albert Street, said: “I’m disgusted with it – it’s going to kill us completely.

“We rely on people coming past and then coming in. If they’re going ahead with this one-way I may as well shut the door.”

The public has until November 24 to object but Fleetwood Town Council is to ask for a delay to give them time to consider the situation. That will also give time for an official from the Office of Rail Regulation to visit the area.

Under the plan traffic would only be able to travel north from the junction with Pharos Street – in the same direction as the trams – to ensure road safety.

But Derek Eaton, chairman of Fleetwood Chamber of Trade, said: “Over 30 years there have been no incidents between trams and other road users.

“The safety record of pedestrians cars and trams has been second to none. Traffic going in a southerly direction will affect all the businesses in the area. It will close off the gateway to the town.

“The decision has been made without any officers seeing at first hand how the trams operate in this area because we have not had any trams.

“The best compromise would be to wait and see how the trams operate and then see if there is a problem.”

At Pharos Food News and Booze on the affected street, Martin Hull said: “This could have a devastating effect on the shopping area.”

Mike Kirby, County Hall’s director of transport and strategic highways, said: “We’re consulting again on the design as a number of small changes have been made in recent months.

“We have listened to the concerns raised by traders in response to the original consultation and the new design includes signing which will direct traffic into the town centre from the Esplanade via North Church Street and Kent Street.

“We have gone back to the drawing board and tried hard to find a solution which would allow two-way traffic to safely run alongside trams on North Albert Street.”