Thinking the unthinkable?

Carl Leckey. MBE. CF. FRSA.

New Brighton when I was a kid and teenager was a magic place to visit.

We enjoyed the open air fairground and the indoor fair. The famous bathing pool. The
remaining part of the famous tower which included the fantastic ball room, plus the wrestling
matches. The marine lake activities with boat hire and trips. The pier and ferries were a major
loss. Gradually we lost them all as cheap flights to Spain with guaranteed sunshine and cheap
booze became available. New Brighton deteriorated and like many other seaside resorts it
became a ghost town. But a miracle occurred when things changed in the last few years thanks
to a controversial decision by the council to approve development and a grant from the EEC.
Volunteer groups proud of their resort were established consisting of the New Brighteners
keeping the resort clean and tidy. The Momentary Art Project encouraging local art and craft
to be viewed in empty shop units. The Brighten New Brighton project encourages local artists
and schools to create colourful murals on buildings. The Wirral Older Peoples Parliament are
administrating the installation of multi coloured promenade benches created from recycled
material. The Black Pearl artist’s creation and the pirates bring visitors young and old from near
and far. The wonder in the kid’s eyes as they visit and enjoy the magic of Fairy Glen located in
Vale Park. Friends of Vale Park do magnificent work on our behalf. The Coastal Community
consisting of representatives from the council, volunteer groups and businesses encouraging
and developing a number of diverse projects to enhance the visitors and residents experience.
Although we have great public transport serving New Brighton unfortunately most of the
visitors that we have encouraged arrive mainly by car to be welcomed with free parking a
service Wallasey is proud to offer. However the increasing numbers have created a problem.
New Brighton particularly in summer is being overwhelmed by vehicles without enough
parking spaces to cater for visitors. The council’s response is to install parking meters. Will this
solve the problem? In my opinion most definitely no! Free parking is one of the many
attractions on offer to our guests. Now is time to think the unthinkable. Do we now need to
deter even more visitors or sacrifice one of the greens, one of the jewels in the New Brighton
crown to cater for the visitors in cars New Brighton encourages and welcomes? Opinions are