A PUB landlord fears vital engineering work that is set to cut off a rural community could force him out of business.
Residents in Treales will face massive detours when Network Rail close the main road to Kirkham – and landlord Harry Challinor is worried it will put people off visiting the village’s Derby Arms pub.
Carr Lane will be closed for at least three months to allow the railway bridge to be raised as part of the firm’s key plans to electrify the line, and Mr Challinor said: “We are going to lose a lot of trade when they start work.
“It’s just going to crucify us. It’s the main road in for people coming from Kirkham, Wrea Green and all over.
“People will say they will come back when the work’s complete – but will we be here when the work’s complete?”
Network Rail has already slashed the length of the closure from six months to three, but Mr Challinor – who is also concerned emergency vehicles won’t be able to access the village – is frustrated the company have not negotiated further.
He added: “Network Rail have never asked me how they can help, but we’re expecting another meeting very shortly.
“People come here in taxis and they will have to pay to go out of their way to come to us – we are going to be cut off.”
Fylde MP Mark Menzies has instigated several meetings with Network Rail and is urging them to work more closely with local people.
He said: “I really welcome the electrification of the railway but Network Rail have to ensure they really take on board the concerns of the local community.
“The electrification needs to be done in a way which minimises the effect on rural Fylde and, for me, what they are currently proposing is still not acceptable.”
Network Rail stressed it is continually looking to see if there is anything they can do to reduce the impact on the local community, but said it had worked to keep time scales realistic.
The firm is also considering holding public drop-in sessions to speak to local residents about the work, which is vital to accommodate the overhead cables which will allow the Blackpool to Preston line to be electrified.
Carr Lane is due to close in September and a temporary pedestrian footbridge will be constructed.