More frequent train services on South Fylde Line a step closer

More frequent services on the South Fylde rail line have moved a key step closer, with the Secretary of State for Transport approving the funding grant for a passing loop.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 12:30 pm

The approval and paying of the grant, not exceeding £50,000, means the Government is pleased at the progress being made by the bid team looking to introduce the loop on the line, most likely near Lytham.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies and Blackpool South MP Scott Benton lodged a successful Restoring Your Railway bid scheme last year, with a view to doubling rail frequency of trains line which runs through St Annes and Lytham connecting Blackpool South to Preston via Kirkham and Wesham.

Mr Menzies said: “This line has had too infrequent a service, and too poor a record of cancellations in the past, rendering it unusable for anyone wanting to commute or get to college.

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A Preston-bound train at St Annes station on the South Fylde Line

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Key step forward for South Fylde rail service increase plan

“It will not only improve access to the wider rail network for Fylde residents, it will also put more education and employment opportunities in the reach of those relying on public transport.

“It will also significantly increase the number of tourists to our coastal area. “It will significantly improve the economy of St Annes as we look at a renewal of the town centre.”

Fylde Council is acting as the lead authority on the project and has been working with Network Rail, Northern Rail, the Community Rail Partnership and the two MPs’ offices to press ahead with the bid.

Network Rail has been engaged to complete a capacity analysis, which includes looking at timetabling and platform space at Preston station, and a further consultant will be appointed to complete a Strategic Outline Business Case.

The Government’s confirmation of grant to complete the business case is confirmation the project is progressing as planned.

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