‘Forgotten’ traders’ plea for Prom signs

Waterloo Road traders Zahid Anwar and Dennis Taylor of Taylor's Western Wear
Waterloo Road traders Zahid Anwar and Dennis Taylor of Taylor's Western Wear
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Frustrated traders who claim their businesses have been forgotten have called on the council to erect signs on the Promenade directing people to their shops.

Business owners on Waterloo Road, in South Shore, claim footfall around their premises has plummeted in recent years because there is nothing to let people know they are open for business.

Dennis Taylor, owner of Taylor’s Western Wear, claims there are signs for every building on South Shore’s Promenade – yet traders are missing out.

He said: “We can get a sign saying there’s a police station or mosque, but we can’t get signs to our businesses 
because we are told it’s advertising, but all the footfall comes from there.

“There are signs pointing at just about everything except what there’s on this street . Originally what we wanted was a big arch saying there’s shops, restaurants and buildings here, but the council turned that down.

“There’s always been a sign in the past saying ‘shops’, but that was moved five years ago and never been put back.”

Mr Taylor voiced his concerns during a meeting arranged by Gordon Marsden, MP for Blackpool South, to get businesses on Waterloo Road to work together and bring trade back to the area.

His Back Blackpool Businesses campaign will see a number of meetings to come up with a plan to help struggling traders in a once booming part of town.

Zahid Anwar, 50, owner of Kiss Fashion, on Waterloo Road, is also worried about the lack of signs on the Promenade.

He added: “We are short of people who come to this area and the council needs to do something to bring people in.

“It used to be very good but even if they make this a street of gold people won’t come, they don’t know what’s here.

“There has to be some kind of direction telling people there are shops on Waterloo Road. Shoppers used to park at Aldi and walk down from there, but they don’t know what’s here now and it is a problem.”

Coun Tony Lee, Waterloo ward councillor for Blackpool Council, says he is confident road signs can be put up to help businesses. He said: “Traders can be assured we are battling away because I can’t see any reason why they can’t put a signpost on the road to say what is down there.”

Coun John Jones, portfolio holder for highways and transport at Blackpool Council, said: “I’ve spoken to some of the traders from Waterloo Road and we will meet with them to discuss things regarding the signs and concerns in the area.

“We will look at what we can do. As a council we are supporting the businesses and doing whatever we can to increase their trade.

“We are doing work around Blackpool South Station to set up a market and bring people into that area and into Waterloo Road.”