Platform for change

Engineering work at Poulton Station

Engineering work at Poulton Station

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Funding which could lead to an extra platform at a Fylde coast train station has been secured.

Lancashire County Council has promised to release £15,000 towards a grip survey, costing £30,000, which will assess the feasibility of a new line and platform at Poulton station.

It is part of plans for a railway line between Poulton and Fleetwood stopping at Carleton, Thornton and Burn Naze.

But proposals for the much anticipated line came to a halt while county councillors deliberated on whether the funding was available.

And despite Wyre Council pledging the other £15,000, the Poulton and Wyre Railway Society were forced to wait.

But this week it was announced funding for the “vital” survey will be released.

Coun Don MacNaughton, chairman of Wyre Council’s Rail Link Task Group, said: “It is vital frankly, we were at a hold until we could get that survey done.

“We can’t get the line into Poulton until it a feasibility study has been carried out.

“Another factor is the line through Poulton is going to be electrified and if we don’t have regard to that there could be physical alterations made to the line which would make it impossible or very expensive for us in the future.

“We know it is possible to have another line through Poulton, there used to be an Isle of Man platform taking people to the Isle of Man steamers.

“But this survey will make sure every box is ticked and will look at electrification and signalling.”

Coun MacNaughton said residents could expect to see a new platform from where a shuttle service to Burn Naze would run in the next two years.

He said: “Initially the railing stock may not be up to main line standards and Northern Rail will not even let rolling stock like that touch their own metal.

“So we will be looking at a local service with frequent stops along the way so a maximum number of people can benefit from it.

“Two years is probably the earliest we could expect to see any work at the station, but this is a huge step forward.

“I’m meeting with National Rail next week to hopefully find out when the survey will start.”