New group is set to boost Blackpool South station

The bench at Blackpool South train station in memory of Coun Tony Lee

The bench at Blackpool South train station in memory of Coun Tony Lee

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South Shore residents and businesses are being urged to get behind a new group aiming to make their station the gateway to Blackpool.

Community campaigners will meet this Saturday to discuss the future of Blackpool South railway station and are asking residents to come along and get involved.

The campaign group, to be known as The Friends of Blackpool South Railway Station, is being spearheaded by Waterloo ward councillor David O’Hara and business owner Darren Thickett who runs Dolls Houses Are Us on Waterloo Road.

The inaugural meeting, which is open to everyone will take place in the New Market Café on Waterloo Road from 10am.

Coun O’Hara said: “This is only the start of a wider campaign to make improvements to the Blackpool to Preston line.

“The line is a popular one with both visitors and commuters so it’s important we make it a pleasurable experience for them travelling and when they arrive at their destination.

“Having an attractive looking station and one that is taken good care of, is all part of the wider regeneration of South Shore.”

Earlier this year two benches were installed at the station in memory of the late Conservative councillor Tony Lee, who worked closely with Coun O’Hara and community activists for the regeneration of the area.

Over the past four years a South Shore Station Working Group has been meeting representatives from Blackpool Council, Network Rail and Northern Rail.

Darren Thickett said: “ The main issue for the group is to tidy up the area and make it a welcoming place for visitors and local people alike.

“Blackpool South is a gateway into the town and we want people in the area to take some pride in it.

“We have been working with Northern Rail and Network Rail for some years and this is a popular route with full trains.

“It probably has double the number of passengers originally anticipated when the franchise took over.

“There is a lot of track rubbish there which we are working with Network Rail and the station manager to deal with but we want local people to come forward to help, perhaps with planters and the plants to go in them.

“We want to make it an attractive gateway into Blackpool and the South Shore area.”

The station was opened as Waterloo Road Station in 1903 and at the time had four platforms but didn’t become known as Blackpool South station until 1932.

In recent years it has suffered with vandalism and graffiti.

Mr Thickett added: “There is an issue with fly tipping from the nearby alley which also needs addressing and we are working with the council to quash that.”