A team of shelter workers were seen putting together the finishing touches to the newly installed shelter frames now lining Market Street. Angled to permit more buses loading and allowing greater ease of manouvre into and out of the bays.
Along with Market Street this will be one of the main bus loading points in the town centre convenient for the focus of retailing in the town's commercial district. Once Talbot Road Bus Station served the much larger spread of shops in Blackpool's town centre. Now serving as a fitness centre and restaurant - the former bus station is embedded within redevelopment of its original 1939 structure.
Finishing touches being made to the newly installed bus shelters on Market Street :
And in former times when Market Street was prospering along with much of Blackpool
The Lobster Pot Restaurant on the left hand side with the newly completed British Home Stores occupying the former open car park and market site. Then as now road works are adjusting the pedestrian space. It is 1958 when the town had pride in its appearance.
The town's central district is now an embarassment with the hollowing out of retail and its concentration in and around the Hounds Hill Shopping Centre and Tower complex. The preponderence of cafes, charity shops and low end retail now mar what was in former times a thriving and popular shopping district covering nearly every street from Talbot Road and Church Street down to the promenade. No longer.
Even the anchor BHS store has further emptied the once prime retail district with little in the way of replacement. Not that the Council can be entirely blamed for this now lamentable descent. Online purchasing is climbing rapidly to the detriment of high streets and shopping centres - an ever increasing fall off in traditional footfall retail is with us and all the consequent impact on town centres everywhere (and out of town shopping malls). Blackpool is no exception. It does however have the benefit of a large seasonal influx of spending visitors year after year.
Nonetheless there are steps which could be taken to close and demolish structures which do disservice to the townscape. If landlords and owners cannot be bothered with their upkeep and appearance, then they should be continuously subject to financial penalties or obliged to sell at a prevalent market rate to the Council or agency established to acquire sites and properties no longer fulfilling any economic purpose. Counting the 'For Sale' or 'To Let' signs blighting the town's central district is evidence enough for the Council and its Executive that action is needed to clean and clear up these depressing sights now greeting visitors and residents alike on a daily year round basis. Action this day please irrespective of political party.
Blackpool Transport has upped its game in presenting a positive and go ahead image - one which the Council can be proud of. Pity we can't get the same action plan for the town's structural fabric street by street.