Windfall for rail station

Coun Liz Oades
Coun Liz Oades
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A Fylde railway station has been given five years to spend a windfall of up to £300,000 on much-needed improvements.

Coun Liz Oades has campaigned for lift access and better parking facilities at Kirkham and Wesham for more than 10 years and now says money in “the region of £200,000 to £300,000” has been made available.

The money has been available through section 106 agreements, where developers make contributions for particular facilities or services in order to mitigate the impacts of any new developments in the area.

But if the money is not spent then in the next five years, it will go back to the companies who have put it together.

Coun Oades said: “A pledge to put a lift in the station more than 10 years ago has yet to be met – and is vital if the station is to come up to scratch.

“It’s absolutely essential we have that facility, not just for disabled users, but for people with pushchairs too.”

She added: “When I had children many years ago, I would always have to rely on someone helping me out using the trains at the station.”

Last week, Lancashire County Councillor for Highways and Transport, John Fillis, met with Coun Oades to discuss exactly what use the money could be used for.

Coun Fillis still thinks that Northern Rail, which runs the station, should also help foot the bill for any improvements.

He said: “I would like to see Northern Rail pay for better facilities, I see it as their responsibility to customers as a service provider.

“It might sound like a lot of money but the station is going to need a lot more parking and a new lift on its own will cost between £100-150,000.

“I want to see better services and a better rolling stock in the county as part of a more cohesive service.”

Coun Oades believes that parking facilities at the station are just an important issue as lift access.

She added: “If you look around the area, a lot of housing does not have parking so therefore people who use the station for the park and ride scheme start to park outside peoples’ homes which causes big problems for residents.”

A spokesman for Northern Rail said the company manages hundreds of stations across the country.