I don’t know how many potholes £6,000 would have filled, but boy it could have been better spent than it was.
Instead we’re left with a report by civil engineering consultants Ove Arup concluding nothing should be done with regard to a redesign of the “shared space” shambles that is Central Promenade. We are six grand the lighter for it. As a Blackpool Council taxpayer that irks me.
Would it not have been better to act on gut instinct, outcry, and have another crack at getting it right?
The consultants say it IS right. Public concerns with regard to congestion are merely “anecdotal”.
Experts visited the site at 3pm on Wednesday May 1. Try peak times and those “anecdotal” concerns may start to sound more like a May Day alert.
My dictionary defines anecdotal as “based on personal accounts rather than facts or research so not necessarily true or reliable.”
Well, personally speaking, I use the route at least twice a day, and more frequently if I have appointments in town.
Above is a picture taken at around 5.30pm on Tuesday. Much the same shot could have been taken last night.
On Wednesday I returned to Norbreck via Whitegate Drive. It was only marginally faster than the seafront route. Blackpool is clogged. Blame Victorian roads. Or the Romans for not sticking round long enough to give us better roads.
It took me almost half an hour to drive half a mile from Foxhall Square to The Tower in stop-start-stuttering seafront traffic. It didn’t deter a landau driver from cutting in ahead of me – having overtaken in the void created by the lack of traffic lights-controlled traffic filtering on from Chapel Sreet.
Experts also say the design has reduced accidents. It would, wouldn’t it? What could be safer than cars going very s-l-o-w-l-y indeed? No cars at all?
I know Ove Arup is a highly respected firm of top notch engineers. But I also know they know a thing or two about grand designs not always working to plan.
Their engineers helped design London’s Millennium Bridge, the 320-metre suspension bridge which unites art, architecture and engineering in perfect harmony.
It is a beauty. Yet it closed within two days of opening in summer 2000 because of “unexpected lateral movement” – later defined as “synchronised pedestrian footfall” or “synchronous excitation”.
Simply put, the £18.2m creation swayed. Too much.
It took £5m of remedial work to put it right. It reopened 20 months later. It remains one of Ove Arup’s finest achievements.
But it also goes to show that something that looks great on a computer screen can throw up a few wobbles in use. Anecdotally speaking...