Blackpool roadwork ‘could cause gridlock’

Yeadon Way, Blackpool
Yeadon Way, Blackpool
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Blackpool business owners claim plans to close a key resort road will cause havoc for town centre shops.

Blackpool Council announced plans this week to close Yeadon Way for three weeks from November 12 in order to carry out a road inspection.

Bosses say the work must begin as soon as possible to fit within existing reconstruction plans for 2019.

But Martin Heywood, owner of Viva Blackpool and member of Blackpool BID, said: “I know we are working on various events and projects to improve the town centre experience, which right now is below standard, against a backdrop of national decline.

“But I personally feel that this work is often undermined by thoughtless scheduling like this.

“It just completely upends a key retail trading period, and being given two to three weeks notice isn’t good enough.

“January we expect to be dead in the town. It’s simple - do the work then.

“If there is an attitude that Blackpool town centre is hard to access, and it’s not convenient, then people are not going to go.”

Anthony Flint, who owns Cards 4 U on Abingdon Street, said: “Blackpool town centre is already gridlocked with traffic due to main town centre roads being closed for tramway works.

“If fewer people come into the town centre, it creates less footfall, which means less profit for businesses, and that results in businesses struggling to pay bills and closing down.

“The ill thought out timing and planning of these maintenance works leaves a lot to be desired.”

A council spokesman said: “We needed to ensure that the Yeadon Way project ran in line with the overall 2019 reconstruction works programme. This meant that we had to build in a certain amount of time following the results of ground investigations to tender the work, procure a contractor and mobilise on site. The earliest opportunity to undertake the ground investigations was therefore planned for after the Illluminations and before the busy Christmas period to be able to deliver the project to fit in with the required schedule.”