More Government details emerge on how Fleetwood's rail link will be restored - using tram-train technology
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It is exactly a year since the Government confirmed it would fund the return of Fleetwood’s rail link, after a business case was put forward by Lancashire County Council.
Fleetwood’s last remaining rail link was closed in 1970 as part of the controversial Beeching closures of smaller stations across the UK.
Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, has welcomed a significant update on the plans to re-open the link.
In a letter to Mr Maynard, Rail Minister Huw Merriman has set out for the first time how the Government intends to restore the rail link.
Mr Maynard said: “The Government is now looking at the finer details of a tram-train scheme and how the project can be funded.
“This is a big step forward and for the first time we can see how this project is likely to be delivered.”
Tram trains can run on both traditional ‘heavy’ rail networks and on tram tracks. It means the re-opened railway can be linked into the existing Blackpool to Fleetwood tramway, allowing services to run into the heart of Fleetwood.
In his letter to Mr Maynard the Minister said: “The early work has indicated that a tram-train is likely to be the best performing option, helping to maximise connectivity along the Wyre peninsula.
“Services would operate twice hourly from Preston station to Poulton-le-Fylde over the existing heavy rail network, before joining a new light rail link between Poulton-le-Fylde and the Denham Way roundabout on Amounderness Way, calling at up to three new intermediate stops.
“From there, the services would continue on the existing Blackpool tram network towards Fleetwood town centre and Fleetwood ferry terminal.”
Mr Maynard has long advocated linking the rail and tram services to form what he has called a Fylde Coast Loop.
He said: “There is clearly some way to go before the new link opens but this is a clear indication that the Government is committed to the project.
“Restoring a connection to the national rail network is important for residents and businesses in Fleetwood and Thornton, helping improve transport links and sustainable travel options and attracting new investment locally.”