Letters - July 31, 2019

The track in Talbot Road. See letter from Stephen Pierre
The track in Talbot Road. See letter from Stephen Pierre

Do any readers recall radio space journeys?

I enjoyed watching the coverage of the moon landings on most TV channels.

The comments and memories of people who witnessed the landing, like l did, brought back memories of a radio programme.

As a young boy, l can remember listening to a programme on our radio - a HMV large valve set with a polished cabinet.

It was the only entertainment we had at that time. The programme was called Journey Into Space and, as you were listening to it, you had to imagine you were there.

The conversations and the sound levels led you to believe that you were. I wonder if any readers can remember the same programme?

The producers must have had a very vivid imagination as all their visions have since happened.

I am 76 and I think I would have been maybe eight or nine at the time of its transmission, so they made some predictions!

P Spence

Address supplied

Transport

Resort tram link has gone ‘pair shaped’

The extended tram track along Talbot Road has turned ‘pair shaped’, become a dead end and a road to nowhere.

The tramway extension project started in November 2017 in reality is far from finished. What has happened over the past 20 months?

. Roads and pavements dug up in order to relocate utility pipes and cables.

. Historic tram tracks removed. New tram tracks installed and new road surfaces .

. Sections of the new tram tracks dug back up due to poor alignment.

. Traction poles installed in order to support the overhead electricity cables.

When will this tram extension be complete? It’s definitely now in what’s known as ‘limbo land’. The truth is nobody really knows and I fear the costs are going to escalate out of control like the Crossrail project has done in London.

Supporters of this Blackpool tramway extension are quick to remind us that £16.5m is funded by Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Due to the complex uncertainties regarding the demolition/re-location of the Wilko store and its car park, by the time this project is complete the shortfall costs could certainly reach twice or even three times the anticipated £5m expected to be funded by Blackpool Council.

Who is responsible for the shortfall to get this project completed? It would seem the local tax payers, many of whom would have much preferred to have seen a modern purpose-built bus station in the town centre.

Linking up local and regional bus services to Blackpool town centre is crucial for boosting year round footfall. Why was an application to (LEP) not made to support a new bus station as strong case of economic development?

Many agree this idea is a far superior proposal than supporting a short tramway extension serving very few at a cost of £25m upwards.

Blackpool has a brilliant unique promenade tramway, that operates a modern light rail system and a much loved heritage service that has the potential to grow and grow. Why the council and Blackpool Transport Services (BTS) have chosen to risk ploughing their reserves and profits into operating this ambiguous tramway extension along Talbot Road seems like an act of self harm.

As BTS also operates the bus services around Blackpool and the Fylde coast, any future company losses incurred as a result of this tramway extension actually poses the risk of bus service cuts which will effect local people.

Realistically, how many passengers will be using a tram when they get off the train at North Station? You don’t need to be a mathematician or a well paid Transport Consultant to realise that the tramway extension is not a viable proposition in a seasonal seaside town .

I believe this tramway extension project is cursed like a poisoned chalice. To date its caused an untold amount of financial strain, distress to local businesses and taxi drivers. During the same period , it’s probably caused a number of council officers as many ‘headaches’ as to what Teresa May must have suffered trying to negotiate Brexit!

Stephen Pierre

Campaign for a Town Centre bus station