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Talbot Road Multi-storey Car Park
Talbot Road, Blackpool, Lancashire
Talbot Road Multi-storey Car Park
associated engineer
G.W. Stead
date  1937 - 1939
era  Modern  |  category  Building  |  reference  SD308365
ICE reference number  HEW 1283
photo  Paul Dunkerley / INCH
Even multi-storey car parks started somewhere! This is the first true multi-storey car park in Britain. Surprisingly, it dates from before the Second World War.
Completed in 1939, the car park provided space for 750 cars on its four upper levels plus mezzanines and the roof — at the rate of 13.4 square metres per car. The ground floor level was specially designed to house Blackpool's bus station. Its ceiling height can accommodate double decker buses. There is also a basement, which houses public toilets. The building was more or less immediately requisitioned by the Air Ministry at the outbreak of the War.
The building has a steel and concrete frame. Its entry/exit ramp has a slope of 1 in 7.5. For internal circulation, there are circualr spiral ramps. These have a slope of only 1 in 10, which makes this an easier car park to use than many of its recent descendants. The whole building was extended on its western side in later years by the addition of sloping floors, and, more recently, it has been reclad.
The designer of the car park, G.W. Stead was an employee of the Blackpool Corporation. During construction, the Borough Surveyor, James Drake (later knighted), had to obtain council approval for the additional cost of vibrating the concrete for the 460mm thick basement walls — a technique now considered standard practice.
Today, although the building still houses the bus station, the buses are restricted to a small area of the ground floor level. The rest of the space is given over to car parking.
Contractor: Atherton Bros. Ltd.
Research: PD
bibliography
"Municipal works of Blackpool" by James Drake
66th Annual Meeting of the Institution of Municipal & County Engineers, Blackpool, 1939, Paper no.1
reference sources   CEH North
Location

Talbot Road Multi-storey Car Park