Stations tee off with upgrades

St Annes Train Station
St Annes Train Station
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DILAPIDATED station platforms are set to have thousands spent on them as the Fylde gears itself up for this summer’s Open Golf.

Almost £100,000 is set to be spent on projects to improve Lytham, St Annes and Ansdell stations, but councillors are warning the projects need to continue beyond July’s tournament.

Ansdell ward councillor Ben Aitken said: “We have to be pleased with what’s happening now, and I think the local people who use the station will also be pleased.

“The problem of course, once the golf has finished, is the maintenance, because I don’t want the stations to fall back into a wilderness. “

All three stations are on the Blackpool South line, and seen as key arrival points for golf fans heading to Royal Lytham and St Annes.

Fylde Council is putting £42,500 towards the project, the Local Strategic Partnership is providing £40,000, Lancashire County Council is giving £10,000 and St Annes Town Council has agreed to provide £5,000 to St Annes and the South Fylde Community Rail Partnership £5,000 towards Lytham.

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Lytham station will have the most cash spent on it – £40,000 in total – and the money will go on improving the platforms, new signage to Lytham Hall and Lytham Green and improvements to neighbouring Sparrow Park.

There are also plans to create a wall of art featuring photos of local people on the disused platform, and there is potential for a similar project in St Annes.

Coun Tim Ashton said: “It’s long overdue, hopefully the station will be something to be proud of rather than ashamed of.” The £37,500 worth of work in St Annes will include new paving and trees to improve the station entrance and car park and the link between the stations and town centre.

The disused platform is in private ownership and an approach has yet to be made about making temporary improvements to it.

Town councillors have already agreed to get a valuation of the site and contact the owner after a suggestion by Coun Tony Ford who said: “Anything that enhances the look of the station and the approach to the town centre is very welcome.

“However the disused platform remains an eyesore and it needs to tackled.”

In Ansdell £20,000 will be spent on new landscaping.