Letters, March 16, 2019

Correspondent Stephen Pierre says that Transport Secretary Chris Grayling (pictured) approved Blackpools tram extension at the 11th hour. Mr Pierre says: With his track record I would have little confidence in him rubber-stamping a miniature tramway through a model village...
Correspondent Stephen Pierre says that Transport Secretary Chris Grayling (pictured) approved Blackpools tram extension at the 11th hour. Mr Pierre says: With his track record I would have little confidence in him rubber-stamping a miniature tramway through a model village...
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I'm ashamed Royals came to resort

As a Blackpool born lady, now into my 50s, I am shocked that Prince William and Kate even came to Blackpool.

I am deeply ashamed of what this town is like now. It is nothing to be very proud of, in my eyes, mainly due to the lack of proper jobs or any real opportunities.

Maybe 20 years or so down the line it may be better, too late for most of us. I have not much faith.

M Cooper

Blackpool

Transport

Talbot Road is only open for a bit...

Whilst many of the small businesses, taxi drivers and bus drivers are pleased to see part of Talbot Road open again, it’s going to be a long wait before this expensive tram track extension is actually put into use. It could be anything up to a further two years!

The tramway infrastructure works are far from over. The installation of overhead power cables, traction poles and the construction of an electricity sub-station have yet to be started.

When required this major work will require Talbot Road to be closed off again. The actual closure and demolition dates of Wilkos in order to build the new tram terminus have yet to be confirmed.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of any local economy. With the drop in footfall in the town centre, many have suffered over the past 16 months. Some have been forced to close down or relocate - most notably Ron Reddy’s Butchers (closed) and Big Woody’s Skateboards (relocated).

Town centres need all the support they can get to survive in such uncertain times. It would seem today like many places, Blackpool town centre has an over supply of retail units. Those who believe this short tram extension (costing in the region of £23m) will pave the way to regeneration prosperity clearly have no real idea about business.

What the town so desperately needs is a modern purpose built bus station, which would attract residents from neighbouring boroughs, boosting year round passenger footfall.

Investing in the Fylde coast bus service network has much greater advantages for Blackpool.

The ludicrous idea of this tram extension is perhaps from the same decision makers who saw fit to waste almost £200,000 of public money developing a car park on the former Devonshire Road hospital site - an isolated car park, with an annual rent of £35,000, that was used by just a handful of people. If that kind of ridiculous flop was made by a private company, the managing director would be ‘walking the plank’ with sheer embarrassment.

The tram extension along Talbot Road was finally approved at the 11th hour by the Transport Minister Chris Grayling in late November 2017. With Grayling’s track record as the Secretary of State for Transport, I would have little confidence in him rubber-stamping a miniature tramway through a model village!

Stephen Pierre

Campaign for a Blackpool Bus Station

Health

Patients and staff deserve better

Despite a relatively mild winter so far, the fact that nearly two million patients attended an Emergency Department in February – 130,000 more than a year ago – shows that demand is relentless and that the NHS is truly in crisis.

Doctors and nursing staff are struggling to cope each day and the news that, for the second month in a row, the four-hour target is at an historic low, while the number of patients having to wait four or more hours on hospital trolleys – almost 72,000, is also stark evidence of an NHS in ever-deepening decline.

Patients being referred for planned or elective treatment are now having to wait two months, which often leads to a worsening of their condition. This is in turn adding to the workload of those who will care for them and often to a longer stay in hospital.

It’s difficult to imagine the NHS in a much worse state, let alone the stress and appalling toll being taken on the health and wellbeing of both patients and doctors. It is hard to see how some of the ambitions contained in the government’s long-term plan for the NHS can be realised unless the crisis in the NHS is addressed immediately and decisively. Patients and hard-pressed hospital doctors deserve so much better before lives are put at even more risk.

Dr Simon Walsh

British Medical Association

Council

My replacement bin was filthy!

My blue top wheelie bin was stolen in mid-February, I paid the council £15 for a replacement. This was delivered at the beginning of March.

Its condition almost justified the description of ‘filthy’. Surely replacement bins should be cleaned at the council’s expense before delivery.

Ian Jackson

Park Road

Blackpool