'It's not finished yet': Fears over spruced up Blackpool street that 'looks as bad as it ever did' - but workmen are set to return

Share this article
0
Have your say

Fears over the state of a key Blackpool town centre road have been allayed by the council, which said work there has not yet finished.

Benches, posts, and bike racks have been installed in Deansgate as part of a multi-million pound revamp, but uneven paving and scar-like streaks of asphalt has been left behind by workmen.

The top end of the street has been resurfaced, with benches installed and double-yellow lines painted, with shops to the left, such as Sunseekers Travel, also given a makeover (Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia)

The top end of the street has been resurfaced, with benches installed and double-yellow lines painted, with shops to the left, such as Sunseekers Travel, also given a makeover (Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia)

That led to fears from one senior councillor that the street has been left a "mess" and "looking as bad as it ever did".

But the council has now said workers will be returning to the town centre road once some of the shops there have had facelifts.

"Because they need work doing, this involves scaffolding and building materials which could ruin the new road if built first," a spokesman said.

"So it's been decided that it's best to wait until the properties have been refurbished before finishing off the road."

There were concerns after workmen vanished from Deansgate in Blackpool, leaving behind uneven paving and scar-like streaks of asphalt, but the council has allayed fears by saying the work has yet to be finished (Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia)

There were concerns after workmen vanished from Deansgate in Blackpool, leaving behind uneven paving and scar-like streaks of asphalt, but the council has allayed fears by saying the work has yet to be finished (Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia)

Coun Tony Williams, the opposition leader at the town hall, said he was "quite pleased" to hear workmen would be returning, and said: "The road has been an eyesore for a long time."

The work is being funded using a £6.6 million grant to make "streets more welcoming and shops more vibrant".

The £7 million Quality Corridors Project, made up of £6.6m from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership's Growth Deal and £740,000 from the council, began in January 2017.

Work has already been done in a number of key town centre roads, including Church Street, Talbot Road, Dickson Road, Cookson Street, and in Bispham.

It's pointless to resurface the road while work on shops such as Tai Pan has yet to be completed, the council said (Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia)

It's pointless to resurface the road while work on shops such as Tai Pan has yet to be completed, the council said (Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia)

Topping Street is currently closed between Talbot Road and Deansgate so that can be given a spruce up. Preparation work in Abingdon Street and Dickson Road started on Monday but both roads are still open.

And from February 10, Queen Street will close for four weeks for a revamp.

A number of shops and hotels have also had - or are due to have - makeovers using £1 million from a pot of cash called the Property Improvement Fund, which came from the Growth Deal and the Local Transport Fund. Grants were made available to cover 95 per cent of the total costs, with the scheme set to run until March.

Shops in Deansgate where revamps have started include Deansgate Kitchen, Sunseekers Travel, and Asia's Finest Foods.

Veteran councillor Tony Williams, the Conservative head of the opposition at the town hall, said the road has been "an eyesore for a long time" (Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia)

Veteran councillor Tony Williams, the Conservative head of the opposition at the town hall, said the road has been "an eyesore for a long time" (Picture: Daniel Martino for JPIMedia)

Work has yet to start at Auntie B's Cafe, Pickwick Cafe, and Tai Pan towards the lower end of the road near to Abingdon Street.

The concern over the state of Deansgate, a key route for people getting to the town centre from the train station and the multi-storey car parks in Talbot Road and above Sainsbury's, comes after criticism over the cost of 10 trees in nearby Cookson Street.

They cost £10,000 each, leading to anger and criticism from Conservative councillors at the Labour-run council.

Around 100 trees cost £100 each in Anchorsholme, Coun Williams said, while trees in Norbreck cost £350 each, independent Coun Maxine Callow said.

But the council's deputy leader Coun Gillian Campbell said there were special circumstances, telling a meeting last year: "These trees were incredibly expensive but there is a reason for this.

"They are street scene trees and they were picked because they will withstand the elements in Blackpool - wind, pollution, and rain.

"They have put in a special system that holds the roots of the trees in to prevent them growing into the roadway and that part is very expensive."