Blackpool Prom to close on Sunday for Festival marathon

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A 6 mile stretch of Blackpool Prom will be closed to traffic and pedestrians on Sunday when the resort hosts its annual Festival marathon.

 

The 26-mile race will take over the entire promenade - both road and pavements - between 8am and 3pm on Sunday (September 12)

The 26-mile race will take over the entire promenade – both road and pavements – between 8am and 3pm on Sunday (September 12)

The 26-mile race will take over the entire promenade – both road and pavements – between 8am and 3pm on Sunday (September 12).

It means the Prom will be closed to both traffic and pedestrians for 6 miles from Little Bispham to Squires Gate.

A time limit of 7 hours has been enforced on the marathon due to restrictions on the road closure order granted by Blackpool Council.

It means the Prom will be closed to both traffic and pedestrians for 6 miles from Little Bispham to Squires Gate on Sunday (September 12). Pic: Fylde Coast Runners

It means the Prom will be closed to both traffic and pedestrians for 6 miles from Little Bispham to Squires Gate on Sunday (September 12). Pic: Fylde Coast Runners

The event is usually staged in April but was postponed due to coronavirus and rescheduled for this weekend.

A half-marathon will also take place at the same time, with both races starting at 9am near the Imperial Hotel on North Promenade.

For more information on the event organised by Fylde Coast Runners, click here.

 

Dog stuck between wall and gate rescued by firefighters in Wrea Green

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A dog that got wedged between a wall and a gate was freed by firefighters in Wrea Green.

 

One crew from Lytham rushed to a domestic property in Ribby Road to help the stranded pooch at around 10.40pm on September 9.

Firefighters used a small tool kit to release the dog.

They were in attendance for around 25 minutes.

One crew from Lytham rushed to the scene in Ribby Road.

One crew from Lytham rushed to the scene in Ribby Road.

Homes plan for Blackpool garden centre site

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A garden centre on the edge of Blackpool looks set to be redeveloped for affordable housing.

 

Breck Homes has applied to Fylde Council for planning permission to build 65 new homes on a site off Cropper Road currently occupied by The Garden Place.

The site is also home to the Dahlia’s Kitchen eaterie, a handful of small stores including pet supplies, storage and stables.

But the scheme would also include a small retail centre with space for a convenience store and two other units, one of which is described a suitable for cafe use.

The Garden Place

The Garden Place

A design statement accompanying the applicaton says: “The site constitutes part of an identified housing allocation within a strategic location for development, within which Local Plan policy also seeks a local retail centre.

“It is within an area of transition, already featuring new build residential development and with more in the pipeline which will surround the site.

“The garden centre use on this previously developed land will therefore become increasingly incongruous, whereas the proposed development will make efficient use of the site to make a significant contribution to affordable housing supply, featuring smaller, affordable units.

“It will also satisfy the council’s aspiration for local shops to increase the sustainability of the location. Provision for pedestrian and cycle connectivity will maximise the benefits of these.”

The site on Cropper Road

The site on Cropper Road

It is proposed to build 12 one or two bedroom apartments, 21 two bedroom houses and 32 three bedroom houses which would be “100 per cent affordable, with a flexible mix of affordable rent, rent to buy and shared ownership”.

Cropper Road has already seen a number of extensive housing developments built but there are no shops in walking distance, with the developer saying “the growth in housing development within the vicinity reinforces the need for more local provision.”

The applicant adds the scheme would provide homes for workers from both Blackpool and Fylde and help meet Fylde’s annual need for 249 affordable homes.

 

Volunteers celebrate as Stanley Park visitor centre reopens

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The visitor centre at Stanley Park has reopened for the first time in 18 months after being shut since the first lockdown in March last year.

 

Four of the Friends of Stanley Park who volunteer in the centre from left Carol Lee, Lynn Patterson, Jacqui Veazey and Gill Howard.

Four of the Friends of Stanley Park who volunteer in the centre from left Carol Lee, Lynn Patterson, Jacqui Veazey and Gill Howard.

Volunteers from the Friends of Stanley Park are back manning the council-owned centre while events and groups including the dog club are back in place.

The relaunch has been marked with an exhibition by the Blackpool Boys and Girls Club craft club with the centre open Thursday to Sunday.

The traditional Macmillan Coffee Morning will be held on the weekend of September 25 and 26, Blackpool Civic Trust art competition and exhibition from September 23, and events for Hallowe’en on October 30 and 31.

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“We need to look how we can do more to attract visitors to the park as well as serve our local community better .

“We have seen a huge growth in visitor numbers and need to build on this to ensure the park continues for the next 100 years and we leave a great positive legacy for the future by having a more vibrant Park community.”

 

Check-ins on NHS Covid app plummet in Blackpool

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Venues are “strongly encouraged” to ask customers to check in to help control the virus, even if no longer legally required – but the use of the feature continued to plummet across August

 

More than one million fewer people checked into venues using the NHS Covid app in August across England and Wales – while positive cases and venue pings soared.

Mandatory check-ins for pubs, restaurants and other venues were dropped in England on 19 July – dubbed ‘freedom day’, when many restrictive lockdown measures ended across the country.

In Blackpool the number of check-ins on the NHS Covid app between mid July and the end of September fell by 13,695, a reduction of 94.7%.

Venues are “strongly encouraged” to ask customers to check in to help control the virus

Venues are “strongly encouraged” to ask customers to check in to help control the virus

In the week ending 21 July, there were 14,467 check-ins in Blackpool, while in the last week of August there were only 772.

Check-ins on NHS Covid app plummet with 1m fewer uses during August – while infe…

This four-week period during August was also a time of rising Covid infection across England and Wales.

 

 

World Firework Championships 2021 in Blackpool: In pictures as event wows resort

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Blackpool event lights up the sky with countries set to battle it out to be world champions

 

World Firework Championships in Blackpool
World Firework Championships in Blackpool (Image: LancsLive/BPL Bible)

The World Firework Championships in Blackpool started with a literal bang as the Russian team wowed thousands lined up to watch the display.

The Russians were the first to perform with Ireland, Germany and a celebratory display coming at fortnightly events in September and October.

Blackpool was buzzing with another high profile event following on from the switch on for the extended 2021 illuminations season.

The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic.

Advice form the Visit Blackpool page states: “Please note that due to the popularity of the World Fireworks Championship Blackpool, there may be traffic delays arriving and leaving the event.

“Take extra time to arrive and would suggest if travelling by car to park in the southern car parks and use the tramway to travel to the event. Alternative public transport via the rail systems and buses are also recommended.”

There is a warning that traffic in the area can be difficult during the events due to the popularity and number of visitors.

The Irish team will now perform on September 25, the German team on October 9 and the final event will be on October 23. Events aim to start at 7.30pm.

 

 

Brazen car thieves trick Blackpool tow truck driver into hauling woman’s car away

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Blackpool woman was left stunned after car thieves tricked a towing company into hauling away her Ford EcoSport from the street outside her home.

 

The 21-year-old, who has asked not to be named, found her car had vanished from outside her house in Jeffrey Square yesterday afternoon (Tuesday, September 7).

The young woman was able to get her hands on a neighbour’s CCTV footage and was shocked to see her beloved EcoSport being towed away at around 1.45pm.

In the footage, two men – one driving the low-loader and another in a white Transit van – can be seen casually winching her yellow EcoSport onto the back of the recovery truck before driving away.

In the footage, two men - one driving the low-loader and another in a white Transit van - can be seen casually winching her yellow EcoSport onto the back of a recovery truck before driving away with it

In the footage, two men – one driving the low-loader and another in a white Transit van – can be seen casually winching her yellow EcoSport onto the back of a recovery truck before driving away with it

The woman reported the brazen theft to police and shared the footage on Facebook in a desperate bid to find her car.

Luckily, it didn’t take long before she was reunited with her stolen Ford.

In a bizarre twist, the man who was paid to tow her car away spotted her social media appeal and rushed back to her home to explain what had happened.

He told he had been tricked into moving her car by the man in the Transit van, who had told him the Ford was his and it needed taking to a garage 9 miles away for repairs.

The car's owner, a 21-year-old woman from Jeffrey Square, Blackpool, has now been reunited with her stolen Ford EcoSport

The car’s owner, a 21-year-old woman from Jeffrey Square, Blackpool, has now been reunited with her stolen Ford EcoSport

She said: “He told me he had been paid by the man in the white van to take the car to his unit.

“The man had told him, “it’s my car and I’ve locked the keys inside and I need to take it to my garage to sort it”.

“So they loaded it up and took it to the unit. All the time, this gentleman driving the low-loader is thinking he is just doing his job.

“Well thanks to the power of Facebook, the man realised it was a stolen car and immediately showed up at my house to tell me he knew where it was and could take me to it.

“And he did just that. He drove me there to get my car back and it was parked right there outside a unit at Braithwaites Yard Business Park in Warton, near Lytham.

“He honestly had no idea he was being paid to take my car away. But we still don’t know who the man in the white van is who paid for it.

“I’d love to know who he is and how he thinks he can get away with this.”

The incident is being investigated by Lancashire Police and the force has been approached for comment.

The 21-year-old added: “I’d like to say thank you so much to everyone involved in helping me get back my car back, including the man with the tow truck.

“Honestly, the amount of support and help I’ve had from the community is overwhelming and I could never have done it alone.”

 

£2m CCTV plan unveiled to make Blackpool safer

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool is set to invest £2m updating its CCTV system in order to boost public safety including from any potential future terrorism threat.

 

The council is proposing to almost quadruple the number of cameras monitoring the town centre and Promenade from 92 to 346, and create a new Command and Control Centre.

Cameras would have 360 degree vision while more than 100 speakers are being attached to CCTV columns capable of delivering public safety messages.

A report to the council’s executive says the Manchester Arena bombing inquiry had highlighted the need for stronger systems to protect the public and manage large public events.

The current control room will be moved

The current control room will be moved

The CCTV centre will be moved from the defunct Bonny Street police station to Municipal Buildings on Corporation Street, enabling the resort to have an incident coordinaton centre.

This could be used by different agencies including the council and police to “manage and coordinate large events and borough-wide major incidents.”

It would also help the council meet expected new legislation to ensure the public are “protected from terrorist attacks and ensure organisational preparedness”.

Initial findings from the Manchester Arena Inquiry in June this year also “highlighted a number of failings and lessons learned with regard to

Many cameras are now out of date

Many cameras are now out of date

security” including in relation to CCTV.

The executive report adds: “Whilst these lessons are for a different environment the principles of the lessons identified should be considered in relation to CCTV, especially with the council hosting major events such as concerts, air shows and the World Fireworks Championships.”

It was revealed last December that Blackpool’s CCTV system needed a major overhaul due to the technology becoming obsolete.

The executive report warns: “A great deal of equipment and screens within the control room are coming to the end of their natural life”.

It is proposed to replace most of the existing 92 cameras and provide a further 254 cameras, which would result in Blackpool’s core CCTV system having 346

updated cameras in total.

Updated technology would improve the quality of images captured and enable police and enforcement officers to access them more quickly.

It is also proposed bo buy a mobile CCTV unit linked to the new control room for use at events, hot spot areas and for emergency incidents.

Monitoring would be carried out by council enforcement officers and volunteers, with more volunteers expected to be added to the roster.

Coun Tony Williams, leader of the Conservative group on the council and who has previously criticised the level of CCTV coverage in the town, welcomed the proposed investment.

But he added: “Installing new cameras and improved monitoring will only pay dividends if combined with other factors that need implementing such as improved lighting, increased security personnel and user friendly car parks.

“I think its also important to realise that not all crime is conducted in the town centre. Recently there has been a huge surge in residential crime and certain neighbourhoods need to be monitored and protected in any crime reduction schemes.”

And he warned against becoming “a Big Brother society under constant surveillance” saying CCTV should be “just one of the tools in the box”.

Dave Blacker, chairman of the Talbot ward PACT (police and community together) also welcomed the proposals.

He said: “I think the vast majority of our Talbot PACT members will be delighted with the planned investment in CCTV.

“It worked to reduce crime before in our town and it can work again. Clearly if you are going about your lawful business you have nothing to fear.”

The £2m investment would be drawn from various pots of capital spending in the town centre, while an additional £100,000 is proposed to be set aside to meet support costs such as recruitment and training.

The executive is due to consider the recommendations when it meets on Monday September 13. If the scheme goes ahead, it is expected to take around 12 months to implement.

A bid is also being made to the Government’s £25m Safer Streets Fund aimed at improving the safety of women and girls in public spaces following the killing of Sarah Everard in London in March this year.

Consultation has taken place with women in Blackpool to be part of the new CCTV project, including helping to monitor and identify potentially dangerous behaviour.

Since the CCTV control room opened, more than 2,000 evidence discs have been produced to help tackle crime.

Examples include

* 550 in relation to assault;

* 300 in relation to theft;

* 700 in relation to begging and anti-social behaviour;

* 750 in relation to drug dealing, missing persons, vandalism, road traffic accidents, arson, slip, trips and falls, suicides, sexual assaults, rogue traders and fly-tipping.

History of CCTV in Blackpool

The town’s CCTV camera system, launched in 2001, had cost in the region of £1.5m to set up, and in 2009 it was costing £600,000 a year to operate.

Cameras were monitored round-the-clock seven days a week until cuts were made in 2011, and the number of CCTV operators was reduced from 11 to three as part of a £908,000 package of cuts covering parking and CCTV.

Monitoring was reduced to Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The council stopped monitoring its CCTV cameras in April 2013 as part of a package of savings which saw £187,600 slashed from the CCTV budget as part of total council cuts of £14.1m.

Live surveillance was reintroduced in November 2015, largely using teams of volunteers.

 

Everything you need to know about the Blackpool marathon and Festival of Running this weekend

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Hundreds of runners will descend on Blackpool Prom this weekend as the resort hosts its annual Festival marathon – this is everything you need to know.

 

Hundreds of runners will descend on Blackpool this weekend as the resort hosts its Festival of Running, including the annual marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K and 2K races. Pic: Fylde Coast Runners

Hundreds of runners will descend on Blackpool this weekend as the resort hosts its Festival of Running, including the annual marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K and 2K races. Pic: Fylde Coast Runners

The Festival brings a full weekend of running events to Blackpool Promenade, with a marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k and 2k races spread over two days.

The event is usually staged in April but was postponed this year due to coronavirus and rescheduled for this weekend (September 11 and 12).

For those taking part and for those cheering on loved ones or just enjoying the spectacle – here is everything you need to know.

The 26-mile race will take over the entire promenade - both road and pavements - between 8am and 3pm on Sunday (September 12)

The 26-mile race will take over the entire promenade – both road and pavements – between 8am and 3pm on Sunday (September 12)

Race start times

– Festival 10k – Saturday, 10.30am

– Festival 5k – Saturday, 1pm

– Festival 2k – Saturday, 2pm

The route of the marathon and half-marathon which will take place along 6 miles of the Promenade, from Little Bispham to Squires Gate on Sunday (September 12)

The route of the marathon and half-marathon which will take place along 6 miles of the Promenade, from Little Bispham to Squires Gate on Sunday (September 12)

​- Festival Marathon and half marathon – Sunday, 9am

Race headquarters

The race headquarters is located on the Middle Walkway on North Promenade, opposite the Grand and Imperial Hotels.

Look over the first sea wall and you will see the HQ area. The nearest postcode is FY1 2JQ.

The 26-mile race will take over the entire promenade - both road and pavements - between 8am and 3pm on Sunday (September 12)

The 26-mile race will take over the entire promenade – both road and pavements – between 8am and 3pm on Sunday (September 12)

Car parking

Blackpool is full of car parks and there is also on-street parking available north of North Pier. But be careful to park legally, wardens will be on patrol this weekend.

Nearby car parks can be found at Gynn Square (FY1 2JR), Cocker Square (FY1 1RX), Cocker Street (FY1 2BY), Filey Place (FY1 1RN) and Queen Street (FY1 1PX).

Click on the links for each car park to see times and charges.

How long will the Prom be closed for?

The marathon and half-marathon will take over the entire promenade – both road and pavements – between 8am and 3pm on Sunday (September 12).

It means the Prom will be closed to both traffic and pedestrians for 6 miles from Little Bispham to Squires Gate.

A time limit of 7 hours has been enforced on the marathon due to restrictions on the road closure order granted by Blackpool Council.

Race Packs

Race packs for all events can be picked up at collection points from 8.30am to 2.00pm on Saturday and from 7am on Sunday.

Toilets

Portable toilets are available near to the start/finish area. But make sure you don’t leave it until the last minute to use them, as they will become very busy just before the start.

There are also toilets on the course, which are the ‘Danfo Superloos’. These require 40p to operate.

Organisers suggest taping a coin or two to the back of your bib number just in case you may need to use the loos on the course.

Medical support

The team from Remote Medical Services will be on the course and at the finish line. Hopefully, you don’t need them, but they are there if you do.

Make sure you complete the medical information on the back of your bib number if you have any medical conditions, allergies or specific medical information that may be important.

The Festival Marathon

When: Sunday, September 12 • starting at 9.00am

Where: Middle Walkway on North Promenade, opposite the Grand and Imperial Hotels.

The marathon is a two lap course and is very flat for the PB chaser’s (personal best) out there, say the event organisers.

Race facilities include bottled water stations every 3 miles, toilets at regular intervals, chip timing, race commentary, full medical support and an finishers medal.

The route is completely traffic free and combines both the main roadway promenade and the promenade walkways all along the seafront.

Minimum age for full marathon is 18 and over.

Festival half-marathon

When: Sunday, September 12 • starting at 9.00am

Where: Middle Walkway on North Promenade, opposite the Grand and Imperial Hotels.

The half marathon is a one lap course and follows the same route as the marathon before the two races split at the 13 miles point.

Like the full marathon, race facilities include bottled water stations every 3 miles, toilets at regular intervals and chip timing, race commentary, medical support and finishers medal.

Again, the the route is completely traffic free all along the seafront.

Minimum age for the half-marathon is 17 and over.

Important note for marathon and half-marathon runners

There are TWO starting lanes. Marathon runners line up facing South looking towards Blackpool Tower.

Half marathon runners line up facing North with their backs to Blackpool Tower.

It is your responsibility to ensure you are in the correct lane.

Split point

Just after the 13 mile point in the marathon, the two events split. You will need to be in the correct coned lane (marathon to the left for lap 2, and half marathon and finish to the right).

It will all be clearly signed and marshalled, but organisers are asking runners to be aware that it is ultimately up to you to go the correct way.

Thanks to Fylde Coast Runners for the above information. For more details, including route maps and registration forms, visit their website.

 

 

 

 

Lanes re-open on M55 after overnight closures in both directions

Home | Blackpool Gazette

M55 was closed in both directions by police overnight last night due to a serious incident.

 

Highways England reported that traffic was temporarily stopped in the early hours of this morning, September 12, between junctions one and three following an incident on the M55.

It was announced at around 3.45 am this morning, where they confirmed traffic was stopped westbound between the two junctions, with traffic officers and police attending the scene.

Shortly after it was confirmed that a closure was then introduced eastbound, between junctions four and three, but the nature of the incident has not yet been confirmed.

The M55 was closed in both directions last night

The M55 was closed in both directions last night

Diversion routes were provided via the hollow diamond eastbound and the solid circle westbound with more information and updates shared by Highways England through the night.

Lancashire Police and the Fire & Rescue Service were both in attendance at the scene and advised drivers to find an alternate route.

It was then confirmed the closures were both removed by 6.48am this morning.

Police and the fire service were in attendance at the scene before lanes reopened

Police and the fire service were in attendance at the scene before lanes reopened