Demolition plan blow to business

Vanessa Morgan, who owns the Kabuki clothes shop on Tithebarn Street in Poulton.
Vanessa Morgan, who owns the Kabuki clothes shop on Tithebarn Street in Poulton.

Businesses have spoken of their fears after it was revealed plans to demolish a railway bridge will close a busy road between two towns.

The road bridge on Tithebarn Street between Poulton and Carleton is set to be demolished and rebuilt from next summer as part of plans to electrify the rail way line between Preston and Blackpool.

Network Rail have confirmed the programme of work is set to go ahead but do not yet have a start date.

They say it is likely to take place between Summer 2012 and April 2013 in a bid to see all North West networks electrified by 2015.

But the news has come as a blow to Vanessa Morgan who own the Kabuki independent clothes shop.

She said: “As far as I am concerned, this work will destroy my business. I’ve been told it could be closed for six months.

“I have had it for 12 years but we have a recession on and this will be the final nail in the coffin.

“I’m a single mum and have asked about the chances of Network Rail compensating me because I have bills to pay.

“They didn’t want to know, I will have to make my staff redundant too.

“I think everybody will suffer as without this road, Poulton will be totally gridlocked.”

A spokeswoman from Wyre Council today confirmed they are in discussion with Network Rail about the project.

But steps have been put in place to minimise disruption according to rail chiefs.

A spokesman for the company said: “This should effectively kill two birds with one stone.

“This bridge is in a poor state of repair and needs to be replaced to make it structurally sound for the future.

“We also need to install overhead power lines so it makes sense to raise the height of the bridge and do the two things simultaneously.

“We’re very much still in the planning stages and are in talks with local councils.

“Everything will be done to keep disruption to a minimum.”

But the news has come as a hammer blow for other Poulton and Carleton businesses.

Suda Hession, from Suda Thai restaurant on Castle Gardens Crescent in Carleton, said: “This is very worrying as it will have a terrible affect on traffic around the area.

“We do get a lot of customers coming from Poulton so this is a big concern.”

Graham Wood from H Wood French Polishers was also concerned.

He said: “We get a lot of trade from Poulton so this is very worrying. It’s the way I come to work in the morning and I’m sure it will have a big knock-on effect for a lot of people.

”It is a big detour to come along Amounderness Way and it will cut a lot of our trade off.”

May Gandhi, ward councillor for Carleton added: “I can understand why this work needs to be done but it is very worrying for residents who use this busy road. It is also very worrying for businesses both in Carleton and Poulton who rely on this link for trade.”

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council, which is responsible for the highways, also confirmed they are in talks with Network Rail.