Fylde MP urges Transport Secretary Grant Shapps for quick action to improve rail services to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Lytham and St Annes

Fylde MP Mark Menzies is calling on Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to press ahead with investment in the South Fylde rail line.

By Tony Durkin
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 3:50 pm

Mr Menzies is frustrated no decision has yet been taken on proposals for a passing loop which would double the frequency of trains and improve reliability on the route to and from Blackpool Pleasure Beach and South station through Fylde.

The Transport Secretary met with Mr Menzies when he visited Fylde last month and visited Squires Gate station to see for himself the works needed on the line.

Mr Menzies said: “We have a proposal for a passing loop which will allow trains to run every half an hour and which will prevent the delays and cancellations which all too often occur.

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Fylde MP Mark Menzies at St Annes rail station

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps takes look at plans to improve rail services to...

“The single track nature of the line is holding back passenger growth.

“We need a more frequent and reliable service and the ability to recover delays. That is what this proposal is all about.

“It is an improvement that can be delivered quickly and an investment that will deliver massive returns for Fylde passengers and the local economy.”

Mr Menzies has made clear to the Secretary of State the South Fylde plan is one which can be turned around quickly.

A Strategic Outline Business Plan has been submitted as part of the Restoring Your Railway scheme and Mr Menzies has urged the Secretary of State to give his approval.

He said: “The plans have been with the Department since February.

“I have asked the Secretary of State for a positive decision as soon as possible, to ensure we are able to move on with the next stages of the process.

“Unlike many of the speculative schemes submitted under Restoring Your Railways this is a ready to go project which will deliver positive outcomes for passengers and encourage more people to travel by rail.”

The bid, lodged by Mr Menzies and his Blackpool South counterpart Scott Benton to establish at least two trains per hour on the line which links Kirkham and Blackpool South, via Lytham and St Annes, won full Government backing last year.

The aim is to build a passing loop in the area of Ansdell and Fairhaven station.