Parking fears for business in revamp

Seed Street car park and (below) Sarah McConville who has raised concerns about trade.

Seed Street car park and (below) Sarah McConville who has raised concerns about trade.

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A TRADER fears her business will lose out during plans to revamp the town.

Work is now underway to construct the Central Business District, but with four of Blackpool’s car parks being closed, Sarah McConville claims shops will suffer.

Sarah McConville

Sarah McConville

The owner of clothes store Blueberries, on Topping Street, says she fears shoppers will be put off coming to the resort if there is nowhere to park.

She told The Gazette: “There are so many parking spaces being lost and the council hasn’t made any extra provisions for parking.

“If people come into Blackpool town centre to do their Christmas shopping they will drive out if they can’t find a parking space.

“It’s too much for a business like this because we really need people coming to shop in the town centre.”

Swainson Street Car Park closed on October 1 and Talbot Road multi storey car park and Talbot surface car park are both closing on November 5.

Seed Street car park will also close as part of the regeneration later on in November.

But Mrs McConville says the lack of parking may spell the end of some shops in the town centre.

She added: “If some businesses don’t have a good Christmas the money is not going to come in at other times and they aren’t going to survive much longer.

“I know a lot of businesses on the breadline which are struggling, but we are lucky because of our online service.”

Eileen Ormand, from Blackpool’s Business Improvement District (BID), said: “I’m working with traders and the council to come up with an alternative.

“It’s a difficult situation because parking always creates this kind of problem.”

Blackpool Council say there will be 3,339 public and private parking spaces available in the town centre during Christmas.

Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for Streets and Transport, said: “We have made sure this work has been timed so it is out of the summer season, when we have the largest amount of visitors travelling into town who need parking spaces.

“The car parking supply in the town centre is already very large, with more than 3,000 public and private car parking spaces available – and our plans do not envisage a shortage of parking over the Christmas period.”

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