You will holiday in Blackpool Comrade. And like it

This will not, of course apply to the Dachau appreciating classes. But for the oiks it’ll be just and righteous:

Jim Round says:
January 3 2021 at 3:12 pm
I was travelling through Blackpool before Christmas due to work and whilst in the area I thought about what could help an economy that is seasonal, dependant on the British weather and also, according to various sources, has a decline in permanent population and mental health plus several other major issues.
More “secure” employment is usually found going down the M55 in the opposite direction. (Preston)
The likes of Fleetwood once relied considerably on fishing (Cod Heads)
Lytham and St Anne’s has an “older” demographic.
There are some decent older homes around the area, although I saw little room for GSHP’s or ASHP’s (this is something that needs much further investigation into wether it is practical)
How do you mitigate the fact that you can get better value (and weather) by holidaying abroad (which means air travel)
There are several other coastal communities with similar issues.
I think that more than a green new deal is needed here.
“Maybe the SNP? And they’re going.”
Where are they going?

Reply
Richard Murphy says:
January 3 2021 at 6:10 pm
We need to increase the cost of air travel.

It really is remarkably simple….

23 thoughts on “You will holiday in Blackpool Comrade. And like it”

  1. Better than average for RM. In the past he’d have proposed a complex system of vouchers issued by a committee of the great and the good (i.e. himself). Now he’s proposing a simple, effective rule change which will directly have the desired effect.

    Next he’ll be coming round to the idea of a carbon tax.

  2. And how will we reconcile ‘carbon tax’ -= good and ‘putting up the price’ = bad? It’s the same thing, and I think our host will need to explain the nuances.

  3. Pretty much the only reasons he doesn’t support a carbon tax are: (1) there’s so much written about it already that he can’t claim he invented it (2) Tim supports it, and That Will Never Do.

  4. I assume because you can escape the carbon tax by not emitting as much carbon, whereas to escape a tax specifically on foreign travel you’d have to stop providing foreign travel.

  5. Even if you increase the cost of air travel, you can get to a heck of a lot of Europe by train for a reasonable amount of money. Not as cheap as a cheap flight, sure, but not that much more that people are going to choose Blackpool over the Costas.

    For £125 from Manchester or Liverpool, you can easily get to the Med in a day’s travel by train (Alicante is about sixteen hours from either, changing in London, Paris and Barcelona), and the same again to get back. And each new bit of high-speed line* would shorten the time without increasing the price (high-speed trains get more money per-hour by charging the same amount per-kilometre as regular ones). £250 is expensive for a return flight to the Costas, but for a lot of people that means staying in a slightly cheaper hotel or spending a bit less on meals/booze.

    If you add more than £100 tax each way to a flight, then people will just switch to taking the train. I can’t see how adding £100-200 to the price of a holiday abroad is going to induce many people to go to Blackpool instead. People will just pay that extra, or will find ways to economise, or will just not go away every year.

    Travel pricing is highly competitive in that people will pick the cheapest option, but it’s also quite price inflexible, in that if the cheapest option goes up, then most people will just moan and pay the extra.

    If Blackpool wants to recover economically as a tourist destination, then it needs something that other places don’t have, and it certainly doesn’t have the weather. One suggestion has been to allow big casinos (casinos above a certain size are illegal in the UK), but that seems to me to be likely to end up more like Atlantic City than Las Vegas (in the same way that AC is for people who can’t afford Vegas, so Blackpool would be for people that can’t afford Monte Carlo).

    In the end, Blackpool was attractive because people in the North of England couldn’t go anywhere warmer on the seaside until the 1970s and it’s been in decline ever since. The right solution is for it to get a lot smaller, which definitely means building lots of cheap housing somewhere else.

    * The gaps are:
    – In the UK, from Manchester/Liverpool to London
    – In France between Avignon and Perpignan
    – In Spain, between Valencia and Alicante.
    All of these are in planning or under construction. Each of these will save about an hour when they are closed, and there’s three or four hours lost by bad connections and not using the Paris bypass. If there’s more demand, there will be more trains and the connections will improve. A direct train after high-speed is complete all the way could do the journey in something like eight or nine hours (though that’s unlikely – I can’t see there being that much demand from Liverpool and Manchester; London-Alicante, perhaps; London-Barcelona definitely)

  6. Richard,

    You can get a Le Shuttle return for about £200 for a family, and drive down to the Loire, Vendee, Charente.

    We did a couple of UK holidays with the kids and never again. Half the time sat in miserable rain. Cold beaches and sea. You might get a few bad days in France, but mostly it’ll be good weather.

    I’d rather just sit in the back garden or have some days out in the UK. It’s all rather nice in rural Wiltshire and Gloucestershire anyway.

  7. Increasing the cost of air travel won’t fix Tuppence’s perceived problems, he needs to increase the price. Airlines have all sorts of ways of absorbing cost increases and not passing it on to the consumer price.

    Though the simplest solution is to just ban it. Exit Visas! You read it here first, I invented it!

  8. Who the fuck wants to go to Blackpool or lytham etc. I’ve been to Morecambe and it must be the windiest place in the uk, apart from being shit. I don’t want to go to Blackpool -ever.

  9. Having once (very) briefly visited Blackpoolm I gained the impression it was abroad. The language hurdle for a start. And the cuisine.

  10. I have fond memories of Blackpool: the trams, riding the donkeys, watching Punch and Judy, flying around the Tower in a De Havilland Dragon Rapide.

    In wet weather there was an amusement area for children – presumably in the Tower – that included a massive chute. (I know because I have photos.)

    I remember a circus we went to, featuring a clown called Charlie Cairoli. A clown who was funny. A clown remembered decades later by a chap whose memory of childhood is pretty scrappy. Mind you, I do like a circus.

    By contrast the only childhood holiday spent in a purported centre of civilisation was spent in London. All I can remember was the excitement of travelling on the underground.

  11. What Blackpool needs is devolution of regs on brothels, large casinos, and cannabis cafes to local authorities. Possibly a few other powers need devolving. If the place wants to boom again then it’s up to the locals to vote accordingly.
    If they want to keep it as a salty place for gayers approaching their pension, that’s up to them too. Locals to the power.

  12. As someone who spent his 1st 17 years in Lytham St Anne’s I too have fond memories of parts of the Fylde coast (morecambe to almost Preston) But returning there 10 years ago only Lytham is fairly pleasant now. Blackpool is indeed the arse end of Lancashire being one of the poorest parts of the Uk. As locals we avoided ‘Glaswegian fortnight’ when the roughest jocks descended on the place.
    StAnnes has been gods waiting room since the seventies.

    Not sure what happened about the potential for fracking- that plus casinos and brothels could transform Bpool into the Klondike!

  13. Ritchie’s solution for helping the British tourism industry is to make flights more expensive (“It really is remarkably simple”.)

    I don’t think I’ve ever read anything so stupid.

    With tourism industries around the world in crisis, how many of them do you think advocate higher airline prices as their salvation?

  14. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything so stupid.

    With tourism industries around the world in crisis, how many of them do you think advocate higher airline prices as their salvation?

    And remarkable parochial, in that he would also keep foreign tourists out. If we wanted to adopt the strategies of the woken SS we could even call it racist (does he still work for a UK “university”?)

  15. @Richard G
    The best train route London-Barcelona is via the direct Marseille Eurostar (summer only, change at Lyon), which avoids the dodgy shithole that is Gare du Nord. It departs a bit too early to get a train from Manchester or Liverpool.

  16. I liked the flight so much I got to fly around the Tower again in an Auster. (Maybe that was in a different year? Did we go to Blackpool twice?) It was a high-winged monoplane so you got better downward views.

    We also had a day trip to the Isle of Man. I mentioned that to an older colleague once. He said he’d been on a family holiday to Man and what he remembered best was the gunner engaging a German aircraft.

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