Tourism businesses say Blackpool Central road closure plans will cause summer chaos

Tourism businesses say that year-long road closures to allow the first phase of the £300m Blackpool Central project to be built will cause mayhem.

By Tim Gavell
Friday, 4th March 2022, 3:30 pm

The resort’s hoteliers group, StayBlackpool, and the Central Blackpool Business Group, say that closing Seasiders Way to traffic will mean other roads in the area will jam-up when visitors arrive.

And they said the announcement earlier this week, shocked everyone, because until that point, the council website did not say that the bridge over Chapel Street would be closed.

Both groups however, welcomed the huge visitor attraction, which will transform the Central Car Park are into three indoor theme attractions including a hi-tech flying theatre, a 200-room hotel, plus restaurants and outdoor entertainment space.

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Blackpool's Central Car Park where work on the new £300m visitor attraction will see nearby Seasiders Way closed

The council’s plans for the first phase of the building, a 1,306 space, seven storey car park, will see Seasiders Way closed at Chapel Street from March 23 to Spring 2023.

Diversions will send drivers via routes at Parkinson Way/Waterloo Road and Bloomfield Road.

Ian White from StayBlackpool said the closure would cause extreme problems.

He said: “StayBlackpool are delighted to see the start of the project to transform the central Car Park. We always knew this was going to cause significant disruption as any building project does.

“The main frustration being that, until March 1, all the council website pages stated that access to the central car park would remain via the bridge over Chapel Street. Towards the close of business that day the pages were updated, to state the road closures.

“We believe the disruption caused will be extremely significant and would ask the developers and the council to look again and do all they can to keep the access to the car park open. Just leaving diversions for those leaving town.

“The way things are currently showing as a complete closure, will cause mayhem for both holiday makers and residents alike and over a significantly larger part of town.

“It must be remembered that the only other two exits from Seasiders way are Bloomfield Road and Parkinson Way pushing the diverted traffic back as far as Waterloo Road.

“The impact on the Central Holiday Area will be extreme.”

Gerard Flynn from the Central Blackpool Business Group said: “We as a group are extremely happy to see this exciting new development start, although we knew that the development would bring with it some closures.

"The council, up until March 1, had no plans to close the bridge from Seasiders way into the car park. They have now updated that and disappointingly decided to completely close the bridge rather than leave the diversions for people exiting.

“I personally do not believe the suggested diversion roads have the capability to take the vast amount of traffic that the summer season and illuminations bring.

"We see traffic jams at the moment with the vast number of cars during these times so it can only get worse. These proposed plans will have a massive impact on us in the central holiday.”