Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lent Blog 21: Coastal town renewal

Statue of Eric Morecambe in Morecambe, Lancash...Image via Wikipedia

It was good to see the announcement that 25 English coastal resorts are to receive investment. The long decline of the British seaside has taken its toll on many locations, including Morecambe where I live now. The investment we have received in the renewal of the Promenade. the Midland hotel and, of course, the Eric Morecambe statue has made a significant difference, but there is still a long way to go.

Before I moved here, I was more familiar with places like Skegness, Mablethorpe and Great Yarmouth, which have also suffered badly since the advent of the cheap European holidays.

What's sometimes less obvious is fact that cutbacks in rail services from major centres of population also had their impact. There used to be a comprehensive set of rail services from the big cities of Yorkshire to Morecambe. There are still trains to Leeds, but the more direct route has been closed. Likewise back in the 60s, the line to Mablethorpe was supposed to stay open, but was closed, and Skegness is at the end of a winding rail route through Lincolnshire.

Inevitable all of these resorts are at the 'end of line', so they need very good transport feeds to make them thrive. I'm not sure £5 million shared between 25 locations is really going to make that much difference, and I doubt there will be much for transport.

I was also interested to see Skegness and Mablethorpe listed as "East Midlands" I know they used to be referred to as Nottingham-by-the-sea, but that is stretching a point!
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