A town's civic standards are marked usually by the condition and appearance of bus shelters (of all things) and the amount of foliage and greenery in evidence in public space. Quite obviously Blackpool falls down on both counts when at one time in the distant past, it was very much a leader in the quality of its transport shelters - ( we are going back a long time ) and the profusion of green verges and maintained trees along its principal roads.
A drive around the town (leaving aside the dereliction of large parts of the centre for one moment) provides a telling lesson in Council indifference to its treatment of residents needing to find shelter waiting for a bus (or tram). Rusting metal panels, missing glazing and rundown structures are ample testimony to the minimal (Council) care given to upkeep of these rudimentary features provided for taxpayers of all ages: the young, the old and the disabled.
Whilst the buses serving the town are now state of the art products eminently cared for and kept free of blemish by the Operator, (BTS), their contrast with the town's bus shelters is lamentable. A telling example being at the 'Quirrel' on Bispham Road, wholly bereft of glazing and looking as if the Syrian Army had assaulted it whilst passing by. A further equally distressing scene can be found at Bristol Avenue and the Moorpark Health Centre where a section of the shelter roof has been dislodged and left open whilst panels are completely missing and one of the corner supporting pillar is now missing. (photo later) And so it goes on. Why aren't Ward Councillors doing their job on these fundamental and obvious failings?
The 'Quirrel' bus stop on Bispham Road now given structural support with a temporary road barrier - presumably to prevent it falling down. No glazing on any side so pity the poor residents waiting for a bus in today's squally rain showers at this important stop which also serves local schools. Below - the 'Quirrel' shelter and public house which gives the stop its name. In much earlier times it was called 'Greenlands' after a local dairy of the same name nearby. A Blackpool Council disgrace in full public view.
At least one bus shelter has been replaced in the past week. The Warbreck Hill Road
inbound stop which had its excuse for a shelter removed and replaced with a smart new glazed example erected (minus seating) over the past few days. Services 3 and 4 which carry residents of the North Shore district into Blackpool being the sole users of this stop. Below : Lo and behold the new shelter with new bus stop signage as well.
Below : And new buses serving the 3 and 4 Routes or is it 'Lines'? promoted by BTS :
Images : John Woodman