A5 Consultation Report summarising consultations undertaken · 1 Introduction The Blackpool to...
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Document Reference No. A5
Transport and Works Act 1992 Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North Extension) Order Report Summarising Consultation Undertaken
Transport and Works Act 1992 Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North Extension) Order
1 Introduction 1
2 Background 2
2.1 Purpose of the Scheme 2 2.2 Description of the Scheme 3
3 Consultation Strategy 4
3.1 Stakeholder Management 4 3.2 Consultation Strategy 6
4 Consultation Undertaken 8
4.1 Preliminary Consultation 8 4.2 Consultation with Council Officers 9 4.3 Consultation with Strategic Stakeholders 10 4.4 Environmental Consultation 11 4.5 Consultation with Key Stakeholders 11 4.6 Consultation with Public and Visitors 12 4.7 Land Referencing 14
5 Results of Consultation 15
5.1 Preliminary Consultation 15 5.2 Form of Response 15 5.3 Statutory Consultees 15 5.4 Responses Received 15 5.5 Analysis of Key Concerns 11 5.6 Effect of Consultation 20
6 Conclusion 21
Appendix A Plan of the Route of the Extension Appendix B Consultation Brochure Appendix C Consultation Poster Appendix D Summary of Consultation – Schedule 5 and 6 Appendix E List of Consultees
Introduction The Blackpool to Fleetwood Tramway is one of the unique features of Blackpool. As the only tramway in Britain to remain in continuous operation it is now over 130 years old. The Tramway provides a high capacity year round transport link for the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors along an 18km stretch of the Fylde Coast. Blackpool Borough Council (the Council) is now applying for an Order under the Transport and Works Act 1992 (TWAO) to construct and operate an extension of the existing Tramway from North Pier to Blackpool North Railway Station. The proposed scheme is to be referred to as the Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North Extension). This report summarises the consultation undertaken throughout the development of the Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North Extension) proposals, and the results of the consultation. 1.1 Report Structure
The Consultation Report is structured as follows:- Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Background Chapter 3 Consultation Strategy Chapter 4 Consultation Undertaken Chapter 5 Results of Consultation Chapter 6 Conclusion Appendix A Plan of the Route of the Extension Appendix B Consultation Brochure Appendix C Consultation Poster Appendix D Summary of Consultation Appendix E List of Consultees
2. Background 2.1 Purpose of the Scheme
2.1.1 The Blackpool and Fleetwood Tramway underwent a major programme of
improvements in the four years to 2012 including improvements to tram infrastructure, highway infrastructure and new tram vehicles. Since re-opening, the tramway patronage has increased in line with the forecasts for the Business Case produced for the upgrade works – and in 2015 the tramway is on track to have its most successful year yet since the re-opening, in terms of patronage and revenue.
2.1.2 Although the tramway upgrade has been successful, there remains a lack of integration
between the tram system – which moves people around economically important destinations in Blackpool – and the rail system – which allows rail access to tourism, jobs and services in Blackpool from the rest of the UK, and access to jobs and services in the rest of the UK (particularly Preston and Lancashire) from Blackpool. Interchange between rail and tram requires a transfer on foot of around 600 metres at the closest interchange points. This makes interchange journeys unattractive, especially considering that a walking trip is already likely to have been made to access the initial public transport mode and a further walk to the final destination.
2.1.3 There are three types of movements of people which are of particular importance to the economy of Blackpool and the wider region:
Inward movement of tourists to Blackpool from regional and national origins;
The two-way movement of local residents between the North West and Blackpool for work, leisure and services;
The internal movement of people between jobs, services and residential areas within Blackpool
2.1.4 Making these types of movement by public transport would be made significantly easier
if the integration between tram and rail in Blackpool was improved. In 2012, a Business Case for the integration of the tram and rail systems by extension of the tramway to Blackpool North Station was developed to enable and contribute to economic growth of Blackpool and Lancashire. This was equivalent to a Strategic Outline Business Case.
2.1.5 The Business Case outlined six objectives which informed the option selection and
development process. The objectives were developed with close alignment to the planning, transport and economic ambitions of national, sub-regional and local authorities:
Maximise growth of the Fylde Coast economy by enhancing accessibility and connectivity to key destinations within and without the sub-region;
Support and facilitate the sustainable growth of the Fylde Coast sub-region by complementing and, where possible, enhancing current development and regeneration proposal;
Reduce transport’s emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases by contributing to wider carbon reduction and mode shift policies for the authorities making up the Fylde Coast sub-region;
Promote quality of life through a safe and healthy built and natural environment;
Contribute to enhanced quality of life by improving access for all to jobs and services;
Ensure affordability, deliverability and Value for Money of the proposed scheme taking account of current Government guidance.
2.1.6 Following the examination of a number of options for improving integration between
the tram and rail systems, the priority improvement scheme was identified as extending the tramway to Blackpool North Station. This would provide a direct interchange opportunity between the tramway and National Rail services.
2.2 Description of the Scheme 2.2.1 The scheme was developed through the consultation process described in section 4 of
this report, and is summarised below.
2.2.2 The Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North Extension) will extend the current tramway from North Pier on the Promenade to Blackpool North Station, a distance of approximately 550m. A drawing showing the route of the extension is included in Appendix A. With the exception of the terminus location, the route will be constructed predominantly in the highway and will follow an original tramway alignment from 1902, which was closed to passengers in 1936.
2.2.3 The Extension would commence at North Pier with a new double track junction. It
would cross the main Promenade at a new signalled junction and would require a remodelling of the highway layout in Talbot Square. A new single tram stop in Talbot Square, would allow interchanges with the North Pier tram stops either side of the junction. Beyond Talbot Square a double track alignment continues eastwards in the centre of the Talbot Road highway. Whilst the highway in this section of the route will be shared between highway vehicles and trams, all highway traffic in the eastbound direction will be banned. All eastbound highway traffic will be diverted along the parallel Clifton Street. A modified signal junction will be provided at the intersection of Talbot Road and Abingdon Street, but the basic highway movements will not change. The double track alignment continues in an easterly direction up Talbot Road; this section is shared with highway traffic. A new signalled junction is proposed at the intersection with Topping Street and Dickson Road, which would require modification of highway movements and priorities in this area. From this junction the tracks would enter the terminus, which will be located on the site of the current Wilkinson’s store and which is planned for redevelopment as part of a separate but related scheme.
2.2.4 The existing tramway service operates between Starr Gate and Fleetwood Ferry from
approximately 05.30am until 11.30pm, with a peak service every 10 minutes. Following completion of the extension to North Station, these services and timescales will be maintained.
2.3.4 The proposed services to North Station will operate to a similar timescale with a peak service every 10 minutes. The services to and from North Station will alternate with northbound services towards Bispham and southbound services towards Pleasure Beach. The additional services to and from North Station will also provide additional capacity and an increased frequency of service in the busy seafront area of the tramway network.
3. Consultation Strategy
3.1 Stakeholder Management 3.1.1 Prior to commencing the communication process, a strategy of consultation with
stakeholders was developed. This stakeholder based approach provided the following benefits and objectives, to be achieved through consultation:-
To participate and obtain the opinions of stakeholders to shape and contribute to the scheme;
To raise awareness of the scheme, the likely impacts and the benefits that the scheme will bring;
To build support for the scheme within the Blackpool community and promote participation in the successful implementation of the project;
To ensure that effective consultation and feedback to stakeholders continues throughout all stages of the project;
To communicate the current project status and forward planning;
To identify and meet any particular needs;
To minimise resources, costs and potential delays through early engagement and resolution of issues;
To provide effective community liaison during the delivery phase;
Ultimately to make available the information that stakeholders need to understand the project, and to contribute to it so as to derive the benefits originally foreseen by the tramway project Business Case.
3.1.2 From these objectives, a five stage plan and methodology was developed which:- 18.104.22.168 Identified the stakeholders
Identification of the stakeholders associated with the project; this included all of the people, organisations and bodies who will be affected by the scheme, who have effective influence over it, or have an interest in its successful or unsuccessful conclusion. Those key stakeholders identified can be summarised as follows:
Local Politicians/Cllrs LEP Government
Senior Executives Statutory Undertakers The market
Operators Suppliers The Press
Local Businesses HMRI (ORR) Interest Groups
Prospective customers Local Residents The Local Community
Whilst it was recognised that, although stakeholders may be both organisations and people, ultimately the project could only communicate with individual people. In this respect, the Council would ensure that the project identified the correct individual stakeholders within a stakeholder organisation.
22.214.171.124 Analysed the Needs of Stakeholders
The information needed by each key stakeholder was identified and analysed. The information requirements were assembled into four broad groups. For each requirement, the level of detail needed was determined depending upon the stakeholder; the requirements were:
a) To be involved in and influence the project Stakeholders affected by the project may wish to influence the project from either a political, regulatory, technical, or a business perspective. In reality, such involvement from informed stakeholders is vital to ensure the successful delivery of the project.
b) Project parameters
These requirements reflect a stakeholder’s need to confirm the scope and boundaries of the project in order to determine any direct impact by the parties affected.
c) Awareness These requirements raise awareness and keep all stakeholders informed of project progress and status. This category also provides for broader communications to both an internal and external audience and, therefore, should include a mechanism for press releases and associated materials.
d) Governance and compliance
The delivery of the project requires a high degree of monitoring and control to realise the full range of declared benefits. Information relating to statutory requirements, project governance and funding terms and conditions are included in this category.
126.96.36.199 Identified the Communication Channels
The methods available for information dissemination were reviewed, and in the light of the stakeholders identified and the information needs of those stakeholders, appropriate means of communication were determined for each key stakeholder. The most efficient means to disseminate the information was identified; it was determined that background information will be made available through the communication channels that provide the greatest breadth of stakeholder access. The plan comprises the following communication channels: For general information:
Brochure and leaflets;
Information published on the council website, Facebook and Twitter;
Your Blackpool (Council quarterly newsletter);
Exhibitions, special events and presentations;
Description of key elements of Business Case for all stakeholders;
Description of the Project Governance Structure and Terms of Reference;
Details of work completed since the inception of the project including regular updates;
Outline planning/powers for the project - key milestones and implementation information for the duration of the project;
Technical specifications for the tramway and highway network, and other standards/systems as appropriate;
Guidance and policy information;
Participation in information meetings organised by third parties. For information focused on specific groups:
Specific meetings aimed at specific groups of stakeholder, or individuals, for specific purposes;
Presentation to existing regulatory forums;
Questionnaires providing feedback on the proposals;
Presentation to local industry and/or groups and public forums;
Funding Agencies’ meetings;
Technical documentation provided to the Technical Implementation groups.
For internal communication:
Blackpool Hub (intranet) news pages;
188.8.131.52 Determined the Information to be provided
The needs of the stakeholders were assessed together with the available communication media and available resources.
184.108.40.206 Determined the communication strategy
In light of the above, a strategy was developed for the ongoing dissemination of information to stakeholders.
3.1.3 A communications strategy and plan was formed on the above and set out the project team’s approach to engaging and managing both stakeholders and their associated information requirements. The plan identified activities, responsibilities and timescales and was developed with the assistance of the Council’s Communications Office.
3.2 Consultation Strategy 3.2.1 The strategy for consultation for the Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North
Extension) was based on a phased approach.
3.2.2 The agreed strategy required initial communication and consultation to be undertaken at a senior officer and political level within the Council. This would ensure that senior executives, portfolio holders and members of the Council were briefed first and their views obtained. The aim was to start at the top and obtain views before moving to the next level. This commenced with the Leader of the Council and Chief Executive, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder, followed by the Leader of the Opposition, Ward Councillors and Council Members.
3.2.3 The second phase provided for communication and consultation with those
strategic stakeholders which could significantly influence the tramway extension. This included the Office of Rail and Road, Network Rail, the current tramway operator, Blackpool Transport Services, the utility companies and the highway authority.
3.2.4 The third phase included communication and consultation with those key
stakeholders who would be directly or indirectly affected by the works. This included key businesses along the proposed route, the train operating companies using Blackpool North Station and developers with interest along or adjacent to the extension.
3.2.5 Finally, communication and consultation was undertaken with the Blackpool
public and visitors to the town and the wider business community.
4. Consultation 4.1 Preliminary Consultation
4.1.1 In 2011/12 the Fylde Coast Transport Study (funded by the European Union through the
SINTROPHER initiative) assessed various options to better integrate the tram and rail networks in Blackpool and the wider Fylde Coast sub-region. A long list of options encompassing tram-train connections to both the North and South Fylde heavy rail lines, and various extensions of the tramway (including to the airport and other destinations) was assessed qualitatively and quantitatively.
4.1.2 As part of this options study in 2012, general consultation was undertaken with main
stakeholders through the SINTROPHER Reference Group which included representatives from Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre and Lancashire Councils; Blackpool Transport Services; Network Rail; Northern Rail and independent industry experts.
4.1.3 The SINTROPHER Reference Group consulted during a series of meetings throughout the
period of the Fylde Coast Transport Study. During phase 1 of the study different transport options were generated and assessments of the fit of each option, with the study objectives, were presented to the group for discussion and feedback. During Phase 2 a smaller number of options were developed in greater detail and outline Business Cases presented to the group for discussion and feedback. The tram extension to Blackpool North was adopted by the reference group as its preferred option and recommended for urgent and immediate development.
4.1.4 The Department for Transport has been consulted by representatives from the
SINTROPHER Reference Group throughout the Fylde Coast Transport Study. Wider SINTROPHER meetings were attended by a tram-train expert from within Department for Transport. Informal discussions with Department for Transport on the proposed extension have taken place at progress meetings on the recent tramway extension.
4.1.5 As part of the study, surveys and passenger interviews were carried out at key locations around Blackpool, including at Blackpool North Railway Station. The surveys were designed to determine how people travelled within the Blackpool area, in terms of origin and destination and mode of travel. This information provided valuable information on the likely demand for the various options being considered.
4.1.6 Households in Blackpool received information on the proposed scheme in the Your Blackpool publication in March 2012, and were invited to fill in an online questionnaire or write/email their views to the Council. It was stressed that the proposals were intended to be integrated within the redevelopment of the Town Centre and could include some or all of the following:
Improved information and signing;
Integrated tram and rail ticketing;
Extension of the tramway to Blackpool North on Talbot Road; and
Direct interchange between tram and rail services. 4.1.7 Initial consultation was also carried out with the primary utility companies, whose
infrastructure may be affected by the Blackpool Tramway extension. This included:
Electricity North West; and
National Grid Gas.
The consultation, in the form of meetings and exchanges of information, provided details of the proposed route and the consideration of utility services which were likely to be affected by the scheme. In return, the utility companies provided detailed plans and information concerning the location of their infrastructure, assessed the requirement for any diversions and provided an assessment of the likely cost and timescales for the diversions.
4.1.8 Further consultation on the economic effect of the proposed tramway extension was
undertaken between January and March 2012, involving telephone interviews with local businesses and stakeholders, and an online survey.
4.1.9 From this consultation, the preferred option for the Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North Extension) was derived and the basic outline of the scheme developed, as outlined in paragraph 2.2 of this report.
4.2 Consultation with Council Officers and Politicians 4.2.1 Following on from the options assessment and initial consultation in 2012, the Council
considered the scheme to extend the Blackpool Tramway from North Pier to Blackpool North Railway Station at their Executive Meeting on 28 April 2014. The Executive approved that the scheme be pursued as priority by the Transport for Lancashire Committee, and a Business Case be developed to seek funding for the scheme, in line with the Department for Transport’s guidance.
4.2.2 In July 2015 a Project Board was established to provide a link from the Project Team to
the funding body, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and to the Elected Members and Key Stakeholders within the Council. The Project Board, which includes representatives from Finance, Legal, Transportation, Procurement, Communications and Blackpool Transport Services meet on a 4 to 6 week interval timescale.
4.2.3 In accordance with the Communications Strategy a series of briefings and consultation
commenced with members of the Council in the second half of 2015. This included details of the proposed route, the changes to the highway, the location of the terminus, the timescales for the scheme, and the process of approvals.
4.2.4 A detailed briefing was given to the Deputy Leader of the Council, and the Transport
Portfolio Holder on 2 October 2015. 4.2.5 This initial meeting was followed by a briefing and consultation with Ward Councillors,
who are directly affected by the tramway extension, on 26 November 2015. 4.2.6 The Leader of the Opposition in Blackpool was briefed and consulted directly on 7
December 2015, and the spokesperson for transport on 9 February 2016. 4.2.7 As the proposals for the tramway extension progressed, a communication was issued to
all councillors on 13 April 2016 providing a progress update.
4.2.8 Similar briefings and consultation was undertaken with the local Members of Parliament on 15 April 2016 and 22 April 2016.
4.3 Consultation with Strategic Stakeholders 4.3.1 A series of meetings, briefings and consultation was undertaken with strategic
stakeholders, who could significantly influence the tramway extension, including the Office of Rail and Road, Network Rail, Blackpool Transport Services, the utility companies and the highways authority.
4.3.2 The proposed scheme was reviewed in detail with the Office of Rail and Road on 3
September 2015, including the design proposals, the planned route, the operation on the highway and compliance with Guidance.
4.3.3 Due to the proximity of the proposed terminus to the National Rail infrastructure, a
series of consultations was undertaken with Network Rail. This included regular communication and provision of information relating to the proposed tramway extension, together with meetings on 23 September 2015 and a risk workshop on 12 February 2016. A study was undertaken of all Network Rail infrastructure within a 3km radius of the proposed scheme and a risk assessment of the likely impact of the tramway on this infrastructure considered. A report of the findings was issued to Network Rail, which concluded that the risk was low, and agreement was reached that communication and information exchange would be maintained throughout the design process and testing undertaken on completion of the works.
4.3.4 As the current operator of the tramway and the proposed operator of the tramway
extension, regular consultation was undertaken with Blackpool Transport Services, in relation to the development of the scheme design and proposals, the timings of the works, the proposed timetable and the operational requirements and costs. These discussions were held in a series of meetings every 6 weeks from July to November 2015.
4.3.5 Whilst initial consultation with the utility companies had been undertaken in 2011, as the
proposals for the scheme progressed a series of direct consultation and meetings were held with the following companies between November 2015 and February 2016:
Electricity North West;
National Grid Gas; and
The form of consultation followed the previous format, with meetings and exchanges of information. The utility companies were provided with details of the proposed route and, using previously provided information, details of the utility services which were likely to be affected by the scheme. In order to further the consultation, the Council carried out GPR surveys over the length of the proposed route, to determine the location of below ground utility services, and undertook trial holes at strategic locations to verify the information. This provided a more accurate assessment of the utility work required and enabled more detailed discussions with the utility companies on potential
diversions. The Council have committed to continuing this dialogue and to meet the cost of any diversion work resulting from the proposed scheme.
4.3.6 The Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North Extension) will be constructed primarily on the
highway and will require modification to the existing highway layout and signalled intersections. Regular and detailed consultation has been undertaken with the highway authority at every stage of the scheme development, from July 2015, and is still ongoing at this time.
4.4 Environmental Consultation 4.4.1 In February 2015, the Council requested a Screening Decision from the Secretary of State
in relation to the requirement for an Environmental Impact Assessment. As part of this process the Council consulted with a number of organisations to seek their views on the Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North Extension). This included:
Blackpool Planning Authority; and
Blackpool Conservation Officer.
Each organisation listed above was provided with details of the proposed route, the approximate timing and durations of the works and the services to be operated. They were invited to make comment on the scheme.
4.5 Consultation with Key Stakeholders 4.5.1 A series of direct meetings and briefings was undertaken, where details of the scheme
were provided, with a number of key stakeholders, whose property of business could be directly affected by the tramway extension. The meetings took place between November 2015 and June 2016. They included:
Sacred Heart Church; and
The Imperial Pub. 4.5.2 Further consultation was undertaken with all Train Operating Companies using Blackpool
North Station, together with Blackpool Transport Services to align services and ticketing opportunities. The meeting was held on 24 September and attended by:
First Transpennine Express; and
Blackpool Transport Services.
A further meeting was held and briefing given, with the new primary Train Operating Company, also called Northern Rail, on 5 July 2016.
4.5.3 The proposed terminus for the Tramway Extension will be located within a new development close to Blackpool North Station. Since July 2015, regular meetings and exchanges of information have taken place with the developer Muse, in order to refine and agree the design proposals for the terminus and surrounding development.
4.6 Consultation with General Public and Visitors 4.6.1 The Council published an article in the Your Blackpool newspaper on 14 March 2016,
which outlined the proposals for the scheme. Your Blackpool is the periodic newspaper of the Council and is distributed to all households and businesses in the borough of Blackpool, a circulation of 70,000. The article gave notice of the intention to extend the tramway from North Pier to North Station.
4.6.2 A consultation brochure was produced, which highlighted the key features and benefits
of the proposed extension. The brochure was sent directly to every property and business which could be directly affected by the scheme, a total of 177 properties, within the area outlined below.
A total of 1,500 brochures have been distributed or taken by members of the public. The brochure was made available in a number of local public buildings, including:
Blackpool Central Library;
All public libraries within the boroughs of Blackpool and Wyre, a total of 11;
Blackpool Council Municipal Buildings;
Blackpool Transport Services reception;
Blackpool Council Bickerstaff House;
Ibis Hotel; and
4.6.3 A copy of the brochure is included in Appendix B. The brochure also invited comments on the proposals, a response could be provided in the following ways:
Submit an electronic response via the tramway extension website;
Submit a response via the tramway extension email address;
Write to the transport policy team at the Council.
4.6.4 An abbreviated version of the brochure was used to produce posters; a copy is included in Appendix C. The large size posters were placed in the advertising panels at the existing tram stops and bus stops around the town.
4.6.5 From the poster, a smaller leaflet version was produced. The leaflets were placed inside
all trams operating on the Blackpool system, in a visible location at the entrance doors. 4.6.6 Whilst the brochure provided outline details of the proposed extension, an exhibition at
the Blackpool Central Library provided an opportunity to view the proposals in more detail. The exhibition was advertised on the above posters, in the brochure, on the Council website, facebook and twitter pages and on the local radio station, Radio Wave. The exhibition ran for a period of four weeks from mid June 2016 and was open between Monday and Saturday during the opening times of the library. Those that attended the exhibition were provided with an opportunity to complete a questionnaire and provide their views on the proposed tramway extension.
4.6.7 A website has been established solely for the tramway extension, which includes information relating to the scheme and an electronic copy of the brochure. A dedicated email address has also been established.
4.6.8 Presentations covering the benefits of the scheme, the proposed route and likely
timescales were given to a forum of 130 Blackpool business leaders in January 2016 and to the Blackpool Improvement District Board, which represent businesses in the area of the tramway extension, in February 2016.
4.6.9 A meeting and briefing was held with the Civic Trust on 27 April 2016. 4.6.10 A briefing was given on the proposals for the tramway extension to the Blackpool
Disability Partnership on 3 May 2016. 4.6.11 Tramway heritage groups/societies were consulted on the proposed extension through a
series of forums, including meetings, websites, emails and Facebook. 4.7 Land Referencing 4.7.1 As part of the process to identify all property owners and occupiers who may be affected
by the scheme, a land interest questionnaire was issued to all properties with frontages along the proposed route, in March 2016. The questionnaire was accompanied by a letter providing details of the Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North Extension), including the proposed route.
5 Results of Consultation 5.1 Preliminary Consultation 5.1.1 As described in section 4.1 of this report, the SINTROPHER reference group, through a
staged assessment, considered various options for the integration of public transport, improved connectivity and economic and social regeneration in Blackpool. In consultation with key stakeholders, local businesses and the general public each option was considered in terms of the economic, social and environmental impacts, as well as potential demand, availability of funding and the potential to deliver. Through the consultation outlined in section 4.1, the study group assessed each option and determined that the favoured option, following consultation, was an extension of the tramway from North Pier to Blackpool North Station. This is the scheme as described in section 2.2 of this report.
5.2 Form of Response 5.2.1 Responses to the tramway extension consultation were received in a number of ways
and forms. This included questions and discussion from direct meetings, questions from presentations to groups, communication exchange with for example the environmental consultation, risk workshops with for example Network Rail, feedback forms provided during exhibitions, and individual letters, emails and telephone calls received from the general public and organisations.
5.3 Statutory Consultees 5.3.1 Through the consultation with the statutory consultees, including the Highway Authority,
Historic England, Transport Focus, the Office of Rail and Road, Environment Agency and the various utility companies, no major concerns or objections were raised. In fact Historic England considered that the tramway extension could contribute to the character of the town centre conservation area.
5.3.2 The consultation process will continue, particularly in relation to the potential diversion
of utility services, and in this respect each utility company has received written confirmation that the Council will establish a ‘utility working group’ to work collaboratively with all of the affected statutory undertakers to coordinate and reach agreement on any work arising from the proposed extension.
5.4 Responses Received 5.4.1 A range of responses were received to the proposed tramway extension. In addition to
the feedback provided in meetings and from presentations, a total of 135 responses were received as follows:
Exhibition feedback 12;
5.4.2 Of the 134 responses, 81 provided support for the Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North Extension), 46 objected to the proposed extension, a significant number of which were received from the Taxi Drivers Association, and 8 made representations on unrelated matters. The majority of responses received were therefore positive and in support of the scheme.
5.4.3 Responses received in support of the Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North Extension)
offered the following comments:
It will improve connectivity on the Fylde Coast and accessibility to the town centre, and therefore help promote growth in the town;
The extension will substantially improve an already unique transport asset for the benefit of business in Blackpool, thus encouraging investment and employment opportunities;
The reconnection of the tramway to the railway network will bring benefit to the wider community, which is key to unlocking significant investment along the proposed new route;
It will provide visitors to the town with a convenient route from the railway station to the north and south Promenade, and with the additional improvements to the Wilko site, will improve the sense of arrival into Blackpool for people travelling by train;
The tramway extension will provide better connectivity between the resort and the town centre;
It will provide benefits for residents and tourists, providing a vital link between the train station and the Promenade, including hotels, attractions and town centre retail facilities;
The extension would benefit disabled people by providing better access to the town centre and railway station.
Support for the scheme was provided by the general business community in Blackpool, including from Blackpool Business Leaders, the Blackpool Improvement District Board, the Civic Trust, Houndshill Shopping Centre, key developments along the proposed route and key hotels. Further support was provided by the Train Operating Companies and tramway Heritage Societies.
5.4.4 Key areas of concern included the following:
Disruption during construction;
Money should be spent elsewhere;
Loss of footfall to businesses along the route;
The scheme will add to the traffic congestion;
The scheme is a waste of money;
Restricted access and servicing to businesses and facilities;
Effect of trams on heritage buildings;
High cost of purchasing the Wilko store;
Competition and impact on taxi trade;
Operate a bus service instead
5.5 Analysis of Key Concerns 5.5.1 Disruption during Construction: A number of responses raised concern regarding disruption during the construction
phase, particularly along Talbot Road and Dickson Road, and the potential impact on businesses during this period.
In response and in order to minimise disruption during the construction phase, the works will be sequenced and phased to limit the extent of construction at any one time. The works will also be timed to avoid reconstruction of key highway intersections during busy holiday periods, for example the reconstruction of the Promenade highway will only commence after the illumination period. This will place limitations on the extent of highway reconstruction, to minimise disruption to the road network. During this period local diversion routes will be established. The works will be constructed in a manner which will maintain access to properties, businesses and buildings along the route of the Tramway Extension. Prior to appointing a contractor for the works, a Code of Construction Practise will be developed, which will consider such issues as working hours and working days, noise, dust and vibration. A detailed construction programme and methodology will be developed following the appointment of a contractor for the works.
5.5.2 Money should be spent elsewhere: It was suggested in a number of responses that money should be spent elsewhere,
rather than on the tramway extension. This included the construction of a new bus station, connecting Lytham and St Annes to the tramway network, constructing a new sports arena, spending money on roads, spending money on the airport, use the money to correct the Promenade highway in front of the Tower and to encourage more businesses to the area and fill the empty properties along Talbot Road.
The funding for the tramway extension, subject to final approval, is provided through the
Lancashire Enterprise Partnership Local Growth Fund. This is primarily provided for local transport schemes only, which are assessed against specific national criteria in line with the Department for Transport’s Transport Business Case guidance. In order to secure funding any scheme, including the tramway extension, must demonstrate high value for money and deliver significant benefits in line with strategic objectives. In addition the Business Case is independently assessed to ensure that these criteria will be met and the benefits delivered in line with the objectives. The Business for the Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North Extension) has been submitted to the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and independently assessed. This has resulted in the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership identifying the tramway extension as a ‘Priority Scheme’, and granting Conditional Approval to the project. The benefits and objectives of the scheme are set out in the Business Case. In this respect funding is allocated to this specific scheme and cannot be diverted to other projects. If the scheme does not go ahead, it is likely that the funding will be lost. It is anticipated that the tramway extension will support the regeneration of the area, including Talbot Road, by improving public transport to the town centre, increasing the attractiveness of Blackpool to new visitors, supporting the next phase of the Talbot Gateway development and improving the environment along the proposed route.
5.5.3 Loss of footfall to businesses along the route: A concern was raised that there would be a reduction and loss in footfall along Talbot
Road as a result of the tramway extension. It is not considered that the tramway extension will result in a loss of footfall along
Talbot Road. On the contrary, one of the benefits of the scheme is that the town centre area will become more accessible and the tramway extension will encourage those people who rely on public transport, to visit the area. In addition, the proposed works will aim to improve the environment and walking experience on Talbot Road. This will be achieved through widening footpaths were possible, reconstructing the highway surface and reconstructing and replacing the existing footpath surfaces with higher quality materials.
5.5.4 The scheme will add to traffic congestion: The potential for the tramway extension to add to traffic congestion was raised in a
number of responses. Specific concerns were raised in relation to existing congestion on the Promenade, following reconstruction in 2011, and the narrowing of the north Promenade by the Metropole Hotel, following the tramway reconstruction in 2012.
Whilst specific concern was raised in relation to the highway layouts on the Promenade
in the area of the Tower and Metropole Hotel, these layouts result from previous schemes and are not related to the tramway extension. In order to assess the impact of the proposed tramway extension on the highway network, the Council has undertaken detailed traffic modelling. The highway network has been modelled using industry standard software packages and traffic flow data obtained from surveys of the network across the study area. The model identified a number of highway junctions which were affected by the proposed extension and replicated the proposed design for the extension at these locations. The results of the traffic modelling are included in the Transport Assessment, and conclude that the proposed Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North Extension) could be introduced with limited impact on the overall highway network.
5.5.5 Waste of money: Concern was expressed with regard to the cost of the scheme, a number of responses
received considered that the scheme was a waste of money, it was an unwise use of public money, it would require the reconstruction of the recently completed Talbot Gateway highway, and also questioned how the Council have found the money for the scheme.
Whilst the Tramway Extension is still subject to final approval, provided that this is
granted, a significant proportion of the funding required for the capital expenditure will be provided by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, through the Local Growth Fund. This provides funding for schemes that are priorities in approved highways and transport masterplans. As part of this funding process the proposed tramway extension has to satisfy certain criteria, and this is independently assessed in line with Department for Transport guidance. This will determine whether the scheme is value for money, will bring local benefits and is affordable. These factors are considered in the Business Case which has been submitted to the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, and which has been granted Conditional Approval. In relation to the Talbot Gateway development, whilst it
is necessary to reconstruct the Dickson Road/Talbot Road intersection, it is not necessary to reconstruct the recently completed Talbot Gateway highway.
5.5.6 Restricted access and servicing to businesses: Concern was raised regarding restricted access for servicing along the proposed route. It
was noted that servicing of businesses on Talbot Road could be difficult, and there may be disruption and restricted access to the church, particularly for ceremonial vehicles.
It is the intention to maintain access to all properties, businesses and buildings along the
route during the construction phase. In developing the design for the tramway extension, due regard has been given for the servicing requirements along the route. In this respect, dedicated servicing bays have been provided where servicing can only be undertaken from Talbot Road itself. This provides a number of servicing bays along Talbot Road, and formal space for ceremonial vehicles in front of the Sacred Heart Church.
5.5.7 Effect of trams on heritage buildings: A concern was raised in relation to the effect that the trams could have on the heritage
buildings along the proposed route. This included concern regarding the effect of vibration on the foundations of heritage buildings, particularly the Sacred Heart Church.
In response, the track and foundations will be designed to minimise noise and vibration.
Experience from recent works on the tramway has shown that the noise and vibration resulting from the passage of trams is actually less than the noise and vibration resulting from normal highway traffic, particularly from buses and heavy goods vehicles. Furthermore, the operating tram speeds will be limited when travelling along Talbot Road. In addition, it is the intention to remove eastbound highway traffic from the section of Talbot Road between Talbot Square and Abingdon Street. This is the section of Talbot Road where the church is situated, and on the eastbound side of the carriageway. It is therefore anticipated that there will be a reduction in noise and vibration in this area as a result of the tramway extension. Furthermore, the Council have consulted with Historic England in relation to the proposals and they do not consider that the tramway extension will have a significant impact on the historic environment.
5.5.8 High cost of purchasing the Wilko store: A number of responses raised an issue relating to the cost of the tramway extension
including the purchase of the Wilko store. The purchase of the Wilko store site and the funding for the purchase is not part of the
Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North Extension) scheme. Whilst the tramway terminus is to be located within the proposed development and will complement and support the development, the funding for the development and purchase does not form part of the cost of the Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North Extension). The Wilko store site development is a separate scheme to be determined on its own merits, and whilst the location of a tramway terminus at that site would be beneficial to the Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North Extension), the tramway extension scheme is not dependent on the Wilko development going ahead. The cost of purchasing the Wilko store site is
therefore not directly relevant to the Blackpool Tramway (Blackpool North Extension) scheme.
5.5.9 Competition and impact on taxi trade: A number of responses raised concern about the impact of the tramway extension on
the taxi trade, including a reduction in passengers and reduced income. In response, the tramway extension does not limit the operation of taxis in this area.
The design of the scheme provides for taxi ranks to be retained on Talbot Road, although their location is moved from the north to the south side. The taxi use and access to North Station is not limited by the scheme and taxis remain the closest form of transport to the station building and entrance. Passengers using North Station, or the Talbot Gateway area, can still chose to travel by taxi, and the Tramway Extension does not restrict this choice or their use.
5.5.10 Operate a bus service instead: An option of operating a bus service instead of the tramway extension was suggested. The option of operating a shuttle bus service between Blackpool North station and the
tramway was considered as part of the Business Case submitted to the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership. This option was discounted because it would introduce an additional journey leg and additional interchange. This would make the service unattractive to passengers and provide disadvantages in terms of operating cost and revenue. The bus option would not meet all of the objectives and benefits of the Business case. The trams can carry significantly more passengers than a bus option, which would require additional vehicle journeys and could contribute to congestion on the highway.
5.6 Effect of Consultation 5.6.1 Whilst the consultation process will continue, as a result of the consultation undertaken
to date, the proposals have been refined, wherever possible, to accommodate the comments received. This has included:
Changes to the track alignment to accommodate servicing and parking;
Relocation of the terminus;
Revisions to the highway layout;
Alterations to the Talbot Square tram stop layout and design;
Revisions to the utility works arising from the scheme.
6 Conclusion 6.1.1 Consultation for the tramway extension commenced in 2011, as the options for the
scheme were developed. This preliminary consultation included meetings and briefings with key stakeholders, together with notification of the proposed scheme, interviews and an online survey.
6.1.2 This consultation was widened in 2015, when the tramway extension became a ‘Priority
Scheme’ for the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and funding was allocated for the works. This provided an opportunity for the public and stakeholders to view and comment on the proposed extension.
6.1.3 The consultation process included meetings, briefings, presentations, exhibitions and
notifications. The brochure and the posters placed in the trams and around the town outlined the proposals, the benefits of the scheme and the proposed timescales.
6.1.4 A description of the scheme was included in the Your Blackpool newspaper, which is circulated to every one of the 70,000 properties in the borough of Blackpool. In excess of 1,500 brochures were distributed, and posters outlining the proposals were placed in the trams and at tram stops and bus stops across the town.
6.1.5 Feedback on the proposals was received through comments provided during meetings and briefings, and through letters, emails and comments posted to the tramway extension website and during the exhibition.
6.1.6 Whilst the feedback to the tramway extension has been generally favourable, a number of people have raised potential issues and concerns regarding the proposals. In analysing the concerns, the Council have responded to these concerns by taking steps to incorporate features into the scheme design, clarifying the process of funding and commissioning reports to address the issues raised. Whilst a brief response is included within this report, further information is contained in the documentation supporting the Application, including the Business Case, preliminary designs and accompanying reports.
6.1.7 It is recognised that communications and stakeholder engagement will continue throughout the TWAO process and as the scheme develops. The Council will continue to liaise with the community and stakeholders, specifically those who are directly affected by the proposed tramway extension.
6.1.8 A summary of the consultation is set out in Appendix D in accordance with the requirement of Schedule 5 and Schedule 6, of the TWA Application Rules, and a list of consultees in Appendix E.
Appendix A Plan of the Route
Appendix B Consultation Brochure
Appendix C Consultation Poster
Appendix G Schedule 5 and 6 Summary of Consultation Summary of Statutory Consultation The table below summarises consultation with statutory consultees in Schedules 5 & 6, as required by the TWA 2006 Rules.
Statutory Consultee Rule 13, Schedule 5 category reference
Rule 14, Schedule 6 category reference
Blackpool Borough Council (Highway Authority)
9 Regular meetings and exchange of information between July 2015 and May 2016.
Blackpool Borough Council (Street Authority)
11 Regular meetings and exchange of information between July 2015 and May 2016.
Statutory undertakers – United Utilities
12 Initial consultation and exchange of information between April and July 2012. Further consultation and meeting in December 2015.
Statutory undertakers – British Telecom
12 Initial consultation and exchange of information in March 2012. Further consultation and meeting in December 2015.
Statutory undertakers – Virgin Media
12 Initial consultation and exchange of information in March and April 2012. Further consultation and meeting in December 2015.
Statutory undertakers – Electricity North West
12 Initial consultation and exchange of information in March 2012. Further consultation and meeting in January 2016.
Statutory undertakers – National Grid Gas
12 Initial consultation and exchange of information between February and April 2012. Further consultation and meeting in January 2016.
Statutory undertakers – Fulcrum Pipelines
12 Consultation and provision of information in May 2016.
Historic England 15 Initial consultation issued on 4 February 2016, with response received on 25 February 2016. Further consultation undertaken with DfT as part of
Statutory Consultee Rule 13, Schedule 5 category reference
Rule 14, Schedule 6 category reference
screening decision in February 2016.
Transport Focus 23 Consultation details of proposed scheme issued, as requested, by email on 24 May 2016.
Office of Rail and Road 24 Meeting held with ORR on 8 September 2015
Environment Agency 5 Initial contact made on 8 January 2016, with exchanges of correspondence throughout January 2016. Further consultation undertaken with DfT as part of screening decision in February 2016.
Owners and occupiers of all buildings which have a frontage on, or a private means of access which first meets the highway at, the part of the street in or over which equipment is to be placed, other than those on whom a notice has been served pursuant to rule 15(1)
7 Contact was initially made in March 2016, providing details of the proposed extension and requesting confirmation of the owners and occupiers of all buildings with frontages affected by the proposed scheme. A copy of the brochure was issued to all owners and occupiers in June 2016.
Every owner and occupier of land over which the right to monitor survey or investigate land is sought, other than an owner or occupier named in the book of reference as having an interest or right in or over that land.
12 Contact was initially made in March 2016, providing details of the proposed extension. A copy of the brochure was issued to all owners and occupiers of land in June 2016.
Royal Mail 13 Consultation correspondence issued on 12 May 2016
Appendix H List of Consultees Blackpool Council Blackpool Councillors Member of Parliament for Blackpool North Member of Parliament for Blackpool South Blackpool Council Planning Department Blackpool Council Highways Department Blackpool Council Conservation Officer Blackpool Council Environment Officer Lancashire County Council Wyre Council Fylde Council Lancashire Enterprise Partnership Transport for Lancashire Blackpool Transport Services Office of Rail and Road Environment Agency Historic England Natural England Transport Focus United Utilities Virgin Media National Grid Gas Electricity North West British Telecom Royal Mail Network Rail Northern Rail First Transpennine Express Virgin Trains Travel Watch North West Blackpool Business Leaders Blackpool Improvement District Blackpool Disability Partnership Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association Blackpool Civic Trust Blackpool Gold Action Group Faith Forum Fylde Tram Society Fylde Coast LGBT Trustees of Blackpool Heritage Trust Trustees of Lancastrian Transport Trust Muse developments Sainsbury’s Sacred Heart Church Nordwind Developments Houndshill Shopping Centre Imperial Public House
RBS Bank Ibis Hotel Hilton Hotel Owners and occupiers of all land affected by the scheme, and frontages General Public