Hoteliers urge public to join rail campaign

Kevin Snell and Paul Newbery of the Bentley Hotel are backing the Gazette's On Track to the Capital campaign.
Kevin Snell and Paul Newbery of the Bentley Hotel are backing the Gazette's On Track to the Capital campaign.
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Hoteliers have urged others to sign up to The Gazette’s “vital” campaign to restore a direct rail link between Blackpool and London.

Guest house owners in North Shore believe such a link would provide a boost for not just their coffers – but the resort as a whole.

Paul Newbery, who runs Bentleys of Blackpool, on Banks Street, said: “I’m a Londoner born and bred, and I’m of the view that getting people up to Blackpool is quite hard.

“People don’t want to come by car with all the roadworks so trains are the only answer, but it’s so problematic at the moment.

“What we need as a town is to find easy ways for everybody to come to us.”

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE GAZETTE’S PETITION FOR A DIRECT RAIL LINK BETWEEN BLACKPOOL AND LONDON

Virgin Rail had initially announced the service, which last ran in 2003, would be resuming this winter.

But Network Rail announced last Tuesday it had thrown out the Virgin plans because the West Coast Main Line was already overcrowded and extra routes would make matters worse.

Pat Stoker runs the Mar-Ray Guest House, on Springfield Road, which lies close to the entrance slip road for Blackpool North station.

She said: “Where we are, if we get a direct link to London it’s going to help us. We’ve had a couple of people in who were touring from abroad and they said getting here from London was quite a nightmare because they had to keep changing.”

Barbara Madden, from the Springfield Lodge Guest House, also on Springfield Road, said: “It would be a good thing for Blackpool because we’re trying to sell Blackpool to southerners.”

Peter Reading, from the Hotel Royale, on Lord Street, added: “Travel is obviously the number one concern for any of the hoteliers and a direct link like that has got to be a plus.”