Blackpool residents plea for blockade of ‘rat run’ road

Calls have been made to block off a Blackpool road to stop it being used as a rat run by motorists.

Residents in Gorse Road have even put up signs asking drivers to think about using a different rout.

Traffic at Gorse Road between Whitegate Drive and West Park Avenue

Traffic at Gorse Road between Whitegate Drive and West Park Avenue

Eddie Fewings, vice-chairman of the Neighbourhood Watch group, said residents are fed up of drivers using Gorse Road as a shortcut from Whitegate Drive to West Park Drive to avoid traffic lights in nearby Knowlsey Avenue.

He has urged local councillor Mark Smith to take action, and said in a letter: “A solution would be to block off Gorse Road access from West Park Drive in a similar manner to the closure of Beechfield Avenue to Whitegate Drive, and Breck Road to the roundabout [at] Stanley Park.

“This is a community issue and we would like your support to take this further.”

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A sign put up at Gorse Road alongside the official sign.

A sign put up at Gorse Road alongside the official sign.

Coun Smith said blocking the road off would potentially only serve to move the problem elsewhere, but vowed to look at the problem.

Fellow Talbot councillor Ian Coleman said he supported any traffic calming measures to keep people safe.

He said: “Unfortunately in this world we have some selfish people. Five minutes to them could mean a lot more to a family should anything happen.

“Residents should be able to live in a peaceful way, so of course I would support any traffic calming.”

Ian Coleman

Ian Coleman

He continued: “The main priority for anyone, wherever they live, is that their children and family are safe.

“If you have vehicles going up and down the road, they want them to be going at a non-excessive speed, and roads to be used as they were built for – and not to cut half a mile off a journey.

“These roads have youngsters and older people who can’t get across the road as quickly.”

Mr Fewings said he appreciates blocking Gorse Road off would not be a move welcomed by everyone, and conceded: “It’s a possibility, but what is the best possibility? One way? Residents’ access? “We want to unite the community, not antogonise it.”

He said one resident in the street, Craig Holmes, has been raising the issue for three years and is the one pushing for the road to be blocked off.

He added: “We are not protesting, we just want something done.”

Road ideas

Coun Smith said a potential solution, such as speed bumps or making the road - and others around it - residents’ only access.

He said speed cameras had been placed in the road, but said the problem is with volume of traffic rather than speed.

He said: “We are looking at different options and will consult with residents about parking and traffic in that area.

“We are in the early stages of looking at a solution to the problem.”