Fury builds over promenade construction work

Works starts on the new Connecting Eric scheme on Morecambe sea front. Picture by Paul Heyes, Monday May 11, 2015.

Works starts on the new Connecting Eric scheme on Morecambe sea front. Picture by Paul Heyes, Monday May 11, 2015.

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Anger is mounting along the promenade as work begins to improve the seafront which has meant the closure of some play areas and car parks.

Residents and local businesses are up in arms over Lancaster City Council’s £210,000 project as some claim it is turning the resort into a “car park.”

Morecambe is struggling for visitors as it is and this is turning it into a building site

Robin Greenwood

The project, dubbed ‘Connecting Eric’ started on Monday and aims to make better use of land between the Clock Tower toilets and Northumberland Street.

Westgate resident Robin Greenwood is surprised by the timing of the project and said “the town is turning into a building site.”

“I was aware it was going to be done but not in the height of the season, it is totally unbelievable.

“Morecambe is struggling for visitors as it is and this is turning it into a building site,” said the 67-year-old.

The work will include: a new pedestrian amenity space to the east of Eric that will form a gateway to the town centre from Eric and the promenade to Euston Road, a new improved children’s play facility adjacent to the Clock Tower toilets to replace the small existing one near Northumberland Street, a new pull in for buses and coaches, car parking rationalised into one enlarged car park west of Eric, better routes for pedestrians and improved flood defences.

Local business owner Mandy House, who owns Pinocchio’s Toys in Morecambe, said: “This is the first time I have heard of anything, I have not been consulted at all and it is too late now anyway.” All these works must be completed by the end of September to meet a timetable set by Natural England and avoid disturbance to wintering birds.

Mark Cullinan, Lancaster City Council’s chief executive, said: “The aims of the project are identified within the Morecambe Area Action Plan, which was subject to over three years of consultation and discussion with the public. We would encourage any businesses or resident who has concerns to get in touch so we can provide more information, the aim of the project is to help businesses by increasing footfall.”