Multi-coloured crossings lead the way on Blackpool Council’s ‘Be Who You Want To Be’ Action Plan

The first step in a number of planned improvements to develop a ‘Be Who You Want To Be’ area in Blackpool town centre is underway.

Dickson Road has seen a colourful transformation overnight, with two zebra crossings upgraded to include a multi-coloured rainbow design graphic underneath the traditional white stripes.

The junction of Dickson Road and Springfield Road will also see a vibrant makeover, with rainbow crossings due to be installed on the road at the four-way junction this evening, weather dependent.

The crossing areas on the road will be adorned with rainbow designs to help guide pedestrians safely across the busy road junction, along with the use of existing safety measures including tactile paving surfaces, crossing control push buttons and tactile cones on the crossing control boxes.

The colours in the crossings are those of the Progress Pride flag, which celebrates inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community.

Contractors Uniplay worked through the night to bring the new thermoplastic graphics to life, brightening up the area in a show of solidarity for a long established LGBTQ+ community and history in the area.

The new colourful road markings form part of the ‘Be Who You Want To Be’ Action Plan, which was created following many meetings, a number of focus groups, discussions and a survey which was launched by the council and its partners including The Blackpool North Shore Business Group, Renaissance Charity, LGBTQ+ Facebook Friends, hotelier’s group BAGS and Pride Blackpool back in October 2023.

The area is particularly important to the Council in relation to the Council Plan, in terms of supporting equality, inclusion and celebrating diversity in our town.  In particular, ensuring this area is safe for all to be who they want to be, to socialise and celebrate inclusion, difference and diversity without the risks of homophobic or other discriminatory abuse. It is hoped this along with other elements within the Action Plan will help catalyse the regeneration of the area and also build an inclusive culture in the wider town.

The re-development of the crossings in this area fall within the public realm theme for the Action Plan; centred around streetscape, sense of place, cleanliness, highways, greening up, street lighting and illuminations. Other themes within the plan include safety and security, culture and heritage, young people, business community and health and wellbeing.

Rainbow wrap lighting has also recently been installed on lampposts in the area, shining bright the message of inclusivity over the streets.

 Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of the Council and ward councillor for Claremont said: “I am delighted to see the first steps of the ‘Be Who You Want To Be’ Action Plan being put into place so quickly in the Claremont area.

“The new rainbow crossings bring an injection of colour and are a celebration of the long established LGBTQ+ history and diversity of the area.

“The LGBTQ+ community and businesses are very important to the economy of our town and I want the improvements made through the Action Plan to make this area to feel vibrant, unique and safe for everyone.

“There is still more work to be done but I’m proud that we’re committed to developing the identity of this area of the town centre, making it an area of inclusivity for everyone to be who they want to be.”

Tim Allan, Chair of the North Shore Business Group said: “I’m really pleased to see recognition of our LGBTQ+ community and its heritage by the placing of the road markings along Dickson Road. This is a clear signal from our council that they are determined to see the 'Be Who You Want To Be' Action Plan put into place.

“I hope people will feel that this is a step in the right direction to demonstrate inclusivity in North Shore. Every member of our community is important and together we are stronger.

“I also hope this will encourage further investment in North Shore, with both public and private money, so we can see gradual improvements and make the area safer and healthier for all.

“I see the new road markings as an historic event for Blackpool and one that will have a huge visual impact. I am proud to be part of it and I am proud of everyone who has been involved to make this happen.”

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