Parking ban hits business

Susanne Johnson FSB Chairma
Susanne Johnson FSB Chairma

Wherever I’ve been to meet small business owners and managers, throughout Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre, one of the most frequently raised issues is parking.

Blackpool is a business. It is a resort; the premier resort in Britain, and just like large city centres, it is an earning machine. Its economic purpose is to bring earnings into the area and to provide jobs for the residents.

If the resort is not run in a business-like manner, it will cease to earn and will not provide jobs for the residents. It will not thrive, and will become a disadvantaged area.

Does this sound familiar? Hasn’t it already happened in Blackpool’s past? If decisions for Blackpool are not made with the aim of making it ‘work’ as an earning machine, some sections will remain as deprived as they have been allowed to become, and some people will remain out of work and continue to struggle. A consultation has just finished into a new parking proposal for a beach-side area of South Shore.

The proposal would disallow parking for visitors to the town and to make the parking available to residents.

It doesn’t sound horrific on the face of it, but if you were to move to Manchester City entre, the areas where parking is at a premium, you would not expect to be able to park at the front of your door.

Often people living in such premium parking areas get rid of their cars because they are within easy reach of everything, as I have now I live beach-side. If you moved to a flat above Debenhams in Blackpool’s town centre, would you expect to be able to park outside your door, and shoppers not to be able to?

Blackpool must stop changing things to quiet the ‘squeaky wheel’ and start being ‘Dragon’s Den’ type business-like if it’s to be able to reclaim its position as an economically successful resort.