RAIL campaigners in Poulton have been left angry and frustrated after being told their station platform is too short for it to be used on a direct route to London.
Virgin Trains has put a bid in to run two direct services a day between Blackpool and the capital.
Although Kirkham has been pencilled in as a stop on the route, Poulton has not.
A spokesman for Virgin confirmed that the reason for the omission was that Poulton’s platform is not long enough.
However Poulton residents are angry as the platform, which was one of the longest in the country, was only shortened in 2010.
Carol Woolley, from the Friends of Poulton Station, said: “I am very frustrated. Why, when they must have known that electrification was coming in, did they shorten the platform?
“It seems to be a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.
“The embankment for the platform is still there, I only hope they can reinstate it in some way.”
John Bailie, from Concerned Residents of Poulton, said: “The platform was shortened by Network Rail very recently. I understand that this was due to some problems with a drain and it was decided that the cheaper option was to shorten it rather than reinstate it after excavation. People in the town expressed concern at the time that the shorter platform may compromise things if a London service was introduced.”
MP Ben Wallace said there were no real reasons why adaptations could not be made to allow the direct service to stop in the town.
He said he would be lobbying Virgin and Network Rail for Poulton to be included.
A spokesman for Network Rail said it was up to the train operator to decide if they wanted to stop in Poulton.
He said that there may not be money in the current electrification project budget to lengthen the platform.