Does Luton Have an Image Problem?

The Daily Mail has launched a photographic expose of Luton today, saying that the town is "where the rats don't even bother to hide any more". Link

But is it right? 


I went over to Luton today and spent just an hour waving my camera around in the town centre area. 

I didn't have to look too far to find evidence of poor image. These are really nothing more than quick snaps. My walk took me from Sainsbury in Bury Park, into Mill Street, around the back of the Mall, into the plush St George's Square, through the main shopping street, up a side road to the main road that circles the west side of town, and from there back to Sainsbury car park.

Car parked on double yellow line by the car wash.
This is apparently, a private road and Sainsbury has the responsibility for it, not the Luton Borough Council.

The people round here clearly aren't worried about being fined for parking on yellow lines
Again, this is the private road to Sainsbury.
Doesn't grab me as a place I'd want to walk down every day.
A lovely pent-house flat? That door has been open for months.
 It's what visitors to the Job Centre in Luton have to gaze out at.
View from a stairwell at the Job Centre. Grim.
This is Bute Street. Letters missing off a shop facia.
It all adds to the mix of grimness.
Silver Street, around the back entrance to the Mall, (formerly the Arndale Centre.)
It's the view people waiting for buses have.
I just turned around after the shot above, to take this one.
An old unloved pub in Bute Street.
... still, the pigeons seem to like it!
Not a pretty sight. This is the back of the Mall, waiting for buses home. Grim.
Gordon Street. Newspapers on a window of a presumably unused shop,
otherwise it could be anywhere.
St Georges Square. Looking good.
Looking good to me ...
Nice. Be even nicer when there are leaves on.
The newest end of Luton's indoor shopping arena.
I can recall this when cars and buses came through. Then, that was grim.
Not any  more. Very pleasant.
.. ditto.
The Town Hall
Luton, a town in transition. In King's Street an old building awaiting demolition by the looks of it,
against the backdrop of a modern office block
On Stuart Street, A505. Mix of building styles.
Wellington Street. Could be a street in any town.
Stuart Street / A505. Not sure I approve of all the same bricks.
Makes it look quite bland.
Magistrates Court, Police Station, Unity House.
Getting grimy again?
Didn't feel comfortable taking this.
Let's say its there, its present, and its part of the overall picture.
Busway bus shelter changeover.
Roadworks happen everywhere!
Down Francis Street. uh-oh rubbish alert!
Yup! Rubbish!
Across the road from the last picture.
Foreign graffiti?
On one side of the railings, a municipal vehicle empties recycling bins,
but on the other side a load of rubbish that looks like its been festering for sometime.
Panorama of St Georges Square. Very nice.

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