‘A better South Blackpool rail link would boost the local economy’ -– that’s the project brief being set to students hoping to create a masterplan for South Shore.
Masters students are looking at how improvements to the South Fylde railway line could benefit the area around Blackpool South Station, on Waterloo Road.
The transport planning, urban design and regeneration students from University College London (UCL) will each create a masterplan for the area, using improvements to the transport network to develop plans that would make the area attractive to live in and sustainable for jobs.
As part of their research, the students visited Blackpool and met with the resort’s cabinet member for highways and transport Coun John Jones, who set the scene of the challenges of the area and local policies the masterplans must keep to.
Coun Jones said: “The council’s view is that improvements to Blackpool South rail station, as well as upgrading the service along the South Fylde Line to Preston, could bring economic benefits to the surrounding area.
“It’s great the university has agreed to have a look into the potential benefits and have taken it on as a project for all of their students to examine.
“It was good to meet them and set out the task for them, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the master plans they produce.”
Dr Robin Hickman, senior lecturer at UCL, said: “Our visit to Blackpool has formed the basis for a student competition to develop further creative ideas and concepts for regeneration.”
Blackpool Council’s work with the University College London (UCL) to improve the connectivity of the South Fylde rail line is just one of a number of projects where the authority has used academic expertise.
It has also worked with UCL on improving the connection between Blackpool North Station and the Promenade by extending the tram line.
And master students from Northumbria University are conducting a study into the benefits of the council’s free breakfast scheme for primary schoolchildren.