Let’s get the trains back to Fleetwood!
A fresh petition has been launched to gather support for the return of Fleetwood’s rail link - and this time it’s a paper petition, available in shops across town.
Earlier this year Fleetwood Town Council member, Coun Mary Stirzaker, launched an online campaign in a bid to generate support for the facility’s return.
Despite support for the cause, that campaign gathered just over 2,000 names, far less than Coun Stirzaker was hoping for and below the 10,000 needed for parliament to look at it.
This week the member for St Wulstan’s ward, as part of the Fleetwood Back on Track group, launched the new petition and believes more people will get behind it.
She also believes the timing is still right to push for the return of the amenity which was finally axed in 1970.
Coun Stirzaker said: “It is so important for this town to get its rail link between Fleetwood and Poulton back and I still believe it can happen.
“The online petition did not get the full support it needed because a lot of people in this town still don’t have a computer or know how to find and sign an online petition form.
“So we are launching a large scale paper petition that does not needed people to have computer skills.
“All they need to do is to get to the shops which have them and sign it.
“We’ll do the rest. We cannot stand idly by, we have to try and make it happen.”
Although there have been less than welcome developments since the online petition was launched, with rail firm Northern plunged into crisis over new timetable chaos, the value of rail links are still recognised.
Transport minister Chris Grayling, who is under fire over the trains debacle, announced last year that sweeping new reforms could pave the way for the possible re-opening of lines axed by the Beeching Cuts of the 1960s,
Fleetwood Back on Track consists of town, borough and county councillors and members of campaign group, Poulton and Wyre Railway Society.
Coun Stirzaker added: “We are a town of more than 26,000 people who are literally at the end of the line. We are on a peninsular and at the mercy of terrible road infrastructures, with awful congestion.
“Fleetwood has a First Division football club, yet this town don’t even have a railway station.
“If the Government is serious about making more of our railway systems, they look at this petition and we demand they take it onboard.”
The revival of a rail link has also won support from Fleetwood’s MP Cat Smith, who supported the online petition and is behind the latest one
And dock owner Associated British Ports is also backing the return of the town’s rail link.
At the start of the origin rail petition, ABP’s divisional port manager for the North West, Carl Bevan said: “In light of the recent statement by the Secretary of State for Transport advocating the reopening of the former rail links to the towns and communities, ABP places utmost importance on the future utilisation of the line from Poulton into Wyre Dock.”
Copies of the paper petition are now available at Fleetwood Museum, the ticket office of Fleetwood Town FC, Fleetwood Beach Kiosk, the Ferry Cafe, Fleetwood Kite Shop, the Marine Hall and Andre’s of Highbury .