Buses switched to avoid village ‘danger’ route

Stagecoach No 68 bus at the junction  of Commonside and Woodlands Road, Ansdell
Stagecoach No 68 bus at the junction of Commonside and Woodlands Road, Ansdell
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Blackpool Transport has pulled the No 11 bus service out of the heart of Ansdell – claiming it was too dangerous to continue with the route as it was.

Several collisions over a number of years, along with ongoing issues over congestion caused by parked cars, has prompted the decision, according to bosses.

Stagecoach No 68 bus at the junction  of Commonside and Woodlands Road, Ansdell

Stagecoach No 68 bus at the junction of Commonside and Woodlands Road, Ansdell

“We did a full risk assessment and it was too dangerous to continue on the route as it was,” said Blackpool Transport spokesman Bob Mason.

“We have had more accidents on that route through Ansdell than on any of our other services.”

As from last Sunday, the 11 service from Grange Park to Saltcotes continues to and from Lytham along Albany Road and Blackpool Road rather than following Worsley Road, Central Drive and Commonside, where the issues to which Mr Mason refers have arisen.

Among the latest was a collision between a bus and a lorry on Central Drive in April.

“There have been problems for a number of years,” added Mr Mason.

“We have tried with Lancashire County Council and Fylde Council to look at traffic restrictions which would help ease the flow of the buses but we have got nowhere.

“There has also been a lot of negativity from residents to the buses coming along there.

“The Stagecoach 68 route is still continuing along that route and our new stops are no more than 250 yards away 
so we hope people understand.”

Coun Richard Redcliffe, an Ansdell representative on Fylde Council, said:“The issue of buses going along Central Drive and Commonside has always sharply divided opinion in the area and it has been a case for some years of trying to find some ‘middle ground’.

“Blackpool Transport changing its route but Stagecoach continuing with their service through there seems a reasonable compromise.

“It has been an ongoing issue for several years and one key factor is that the number of parked cars in the area has dramatically increased over the last decade or so.

“I have had mixed feedback to this change, as has always been the case on this matter, but we have to remember we are very fortunate in this area to be so well served by buses.”

Mike Kirby, director of transport and environment, said: “Blackpool Transport has re-registered the number 11 service to operate via Albany Road and Blackpool Road due to safety and congestion problems caused by parked vehicles throughout the day on Commonside and Central Drive.

“This will reduce by half the eight buses an hour in each direction that previously ran on Commonside and Central Avenue and we’ve assisted Blackpool Transport to site bus stops appropriately.