The planned closure of the main access to Central Car Park, to allow for the start of the new £300m Blackpool Central visitor attractions has been delayed until after Easter, with the exception of the link down to Chapel Street which will close this week.
Hoteliers and other businesses had been worried that the closure of major access route Seasiders Way would force thousands of tourists off onto surrounding roads, causing jams chaos and affecting their business for the coming season.
But now the council has listened to their worries and has compromised by delaying the start of the works until after the crucial Easter holiday period. The delay will allow the installation of clear signs to show visitors the best routes into the resort, plus further communication with Blackpool’s residents and visitors about the changes, and for people to get used to diversionary routes ahead of the summer season.
Leader of Blackpool Council, Coun Lynn Williams, said: “This is a really significant development for Blackpool and although everyone are all really keen to see works start on site, the council and the developer Nikal, want to get it right from the start.
"It is a main route into the town centre for our visitors and we want to ensure that the diversion routes work well for everyone involved over this prolonged period of works.
"A short delay at the start to ensure the right signage is in place, will ensure quicker, smoother delivery on a project that when completed is expected to attract up to 600,000 more visitors to the town and create over 1,000 new jobs for local people.”
Claire Smith from hoteliers association StayBlackpool said the delay was great news as
"Its fabulous news. We fully appreciate and understand the the Blackpool central project is a huge deal for the town and offers all sorts of opportunities every business and that there must be road closures and diversions and some inconvenience.
"It is great they have postponed the work until after Easter because we have all had some really tough Easters of late. What we need after that is really good communication and signage.