Added on: 2nd February, 2010
Council bosses have promised that St Johnís Square will become traffic free by summer.
An investigation was carried on by Blackpool Council in conjunction with Blackpool Transport in to the safety of the shared place concept in the square. This is where vehicles and pedestrians use an area without pavements or road markings.
Now the Council bosses have promised council chiefs have vowed to rid the square, which underwent a £4.7m revamp last year, of traffic by this summer.
Council leader Peter Callow, said: "We want to see it as a traffic-free area by summer."
The council will now look at putting a temporary traffic order, banning traffic from the area.
Council officers will investigate the possibility of rerouting buses around the square before the ban can be placed.
Coun Callow said: "We have had the initial results back, although the report has not been written up and finalised, and we will be looking into these at a cabinet meeting.
"After the investigation, the cabinet is unanimous in its desire for St John's Square to become traffic-free."
If a joint study with Blackpool Council and Blackpool Transport demonstrates buses and taxis could be rerouted around the square, any changes to traffic would have to wait until road works on Market Street and Corporation Street are completed.
But Coun Callow says the council will make sure they see to the continental-style square, which had new paving stones installed and all road markings removed in the overhaul, as a safe place for the public to congregate.
He added: "If the next stage of our inquiries, which will look into bus routes, shows that this is possible, we shall start work before summer.
"The traffic ban would last 18 months, during which time we would draw up a plan to keep traffic off the area.
"The concept of a shared space is popular in Europe, but people don't have a space in Blackpool where they can congregate, and we want to safeguard this. It's beautiful and we should keep it that way."
But traders argue that allowing buses and taxis to return to the square gave a much-needed boost to business.
Adam Myers, manager of Mosaic, on Church Street, said: "When the council reintroduced buses and taxis to the Square, businesses improved dramatically.
"The problem is, some private cars are now beginning to use the road too, which they shouldn't be, and pedestrians worry about the lack of road markings.
"But the council brought this on themselves, they should have designed the area so there was some definition between the road and the pavement.
"After the original traffic ban, when the council reintroduced buses and they dropped off outside Ethel Austin, we all noticed a vast improvement, as this brought lots more people past our shops."