MP calls for change to Fylde coast train services which could make all the difference to passengers
Fylde MP Mark Menzies has called on rail operator Northern to improve Sunday services on the South Fylde line.
Northern currently operates a two-hourly service on the route between Preston and Blackpool South on Sundays.
Mr Menzies is currently campaigning for a passing loop on the line which would allow a half-hourly service and believes a boost to Sunday services would send a message about the importance of the line.
He said: “When the pandemic hit I think everyone could understand reducing timetables, to make best use of the staff available.
“We are now seeing an increase in passengers, particularly leisure travellers. Other lines have got their full Sunday service back but South Fylde lags behind.
“Without regular trains there is no incentive for people to leave their cars at home and use public transport instead.
“A train every two hours is not enough.”
Mr Menzies continues to work with Blackpool South MP Scott Benton, Fylde Council, Lancashire County Council, Network Rail, Northern and Community Rail Lancashire on a plan to double the number of trains the line can accommodate every day.
A passing loop at Ansdell and Fairhaven is seen as the best option to deliver a half-hourly service to and from Preston and a first business case will soon be submitted to the Department for Transport.
Mr Menzies said: “Scott Benton and I secured funding through the Resorting Your Railway Fund and I’m pleased to see work progressing.
“The passing loop is vital to encouraging passenger growth, giving better connections and a more frequent and reliable service for people living in Lytham, Ansdell, Fairhaven and St Annes.
“There is clearly a strong case and Ministers are looking forward to hearing more about what is proposed.”
Mr Menzies is keen to explore further options to make the line greener and to improve passenger appeal.
He said: “The trains on this route are the oldest Northern operates.
“With brand new electric rolling stock running into Blackpool North we are left with noisy diesel trains, built in the 1980s and reaching the end of their service life.
“I’m keen to explore options for cleaner alternatives which are better for passengers and for the planet.”
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