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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Another Bridge Strengthening

Work commences this weekend on the road bridge over the railway line on Squires Gate Lane. This once carried trams running between Blackpool and St Annes (and beyond). Built in 1931 with an inscribed stone pediment to commemorate the year, the bridge roadway still contains tram tracks which were last used in 1961 after cessation of the Circular Tour which ran from west to east. The tracks connected with those on Lytham Road. The Lytham St Annes Corporation Transport Depot stood on the southern side of the road with an impressive double track fan leading off the road. With sale of Fylde Buses/Blue Buses to Blackpool Transport Services, the historic depot structure was sold off for the inevitable housing development and a mundane block of flats now marks the site. Below : Contractor trucks line up ahead of work starting on the eastbound side of the Squires Gate Lane bridge looking towards the coast.

A nice touch is this retained pediment marking the year of completion of the road bridge then carrying trams into Blackpool from St Annes and Lytham

All of Blackpool's bridges have been given attention in recent years with Lytham Road, Waterloo Road and Plymouth Road all being attended to in recent years. The Harrowside railway bridge is currently being worked on of a similar type and vintage as that of Squires Gate Lane.

Questions over the need for the railway bridge crossing over Devonshire Road as part of the imminent electrification work now inexorably moving towards Blackpool North station are unresolved as to need for its replacement and or strengthening. Overhead gantrys are being installed at Poulton and will continue on to Blackpool North in the coming weeks. Warning signs have been installed to warn traffic crossing at Carleton Level Crossing of height restrictions caused by overhead power wires on the railway (yet to be completed).

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