A group of struggling traders today called for no entry signs which line the length of their street to be scrapped – claiming they are hitting business hard.
Business bosses claim the signs, introduced five years ago, forbidding cars to turn off the Promenade and on to Waterloo Road, are having an impact on sales and footfall in the area.
They are now calling on Blackpool Council to scrap the signs, which lead traffic around the South Shore one way system, to help bring customers back.
David Clewes runs Card Outlet, on Waterloo Road, and has been a businessman in the area for 25 years.
He said: “My main worry about being a trader is dwindling footfall. It’s probably down by 40 or 50 per cent since the road was changed and traffic needs to be addressed. We desperately need more parking on the street and better access.
“We really need to start drawing people off the Promenade because at the moment we have no entry signs which may as well be saying this is a nuclear war zone, because nobody can access the street.
“I’ve had discussions with certain heads of highways over the years but every time I go to the council and put something to them I never get any feedback. It’s almost like South Shore is the forgotten land.”
Mr Clewes raised his concerns during an event to launch Gordon Marsden’s Back Blackpool Businesses.
The Blackpool South MP is urging traders in his constituency to work together to bring more people into the area and plans to meet business owners in coming weeks to determine the best way of tackling this.
Mr Clewes is also hoping to bring about changes to the number of parking spaces on Waterloo Road and how much it costs to park on the Promenade. He added: “To park for three hours it costs £5.
“Let’s get realistic. What’s going on is absolutely disgusting and we’ve got to get traffic along that street.”
Susan Gallagher, of Total Beauty, on Waterloo Road, added: “The only thing that keeps the street going is the long standing traders. If you are a new business, you fail.”
Coun David O’Hara, ward councillor for Waterloo, said it would be difficult to turn Waterloo Road back into a two way street.
He said: “The problem with the one way street is they can’t do much about that because of the cost. We are looking at things but, as we have explained to traders, it’s a little bit different to get this street turned around and we have to look at enticing people to the area.
“The parking side of things is being totally looked at and reconsidered. The cost on the Prom will be looked at along with parking in the town’s car parks.”