Some readers may remember Alan Bradley, a Coronation Street character who met a sticky end in front of a Blackpool tram. It seems Blackpool Council is concerned something similar could, erm, happen again.
Blackpool's Comedy Carpet was unveiled by Ken Dodd last year, and was constructed at a cost of £2.6 million. Now just five months on, part of the granite and concrete carpet has been destroyed by council contractors because it was too close to the tram lines. You would have thought this would have been obvious to council officials before the carpet was installed. Apparently not, and this week's award for stating the obvious goes to Alan Cavill, assistant chief executive at Blackpool Council.
"After observing how visitors interact with the carpet, many are seen to look down while reading the phrases and frequently step back to look at the comments.
"Regretfully if a visitor to the carpet was to step back off the very end of the carpet into the line of an oncoming tram then this could potentially be very dangerous."
Indeed it could be very dangerous, although I don't think we needed Mr Cavill to tell us that. Leaving aside whether or not laying the carpet was a good use of public money, you would have thought the council would have attempted to remove the area that was destroyed, and place it elsewhere? According to the council, the Comedy Carpet Company quoted the council £50,000 for the work, however this has since been revealed as not true. The company quoted somewhere between £3,000 - £3,600 in an email to the council last year.
Questions need to be asked of planning officials. Surely they should have realised what was going to happen placing the carpet so close to tram tracks? It seems once again the joke is on taxpayers who have to pay for the council's incompetence.