Councillor's call over Fleetwood rail petition
A Fleetwood councillor who is campaigning for the return of the town’s rail link is preparing to hand a petition over so it can be presented in parliament.
But first, Coun Mary Stirzaker is calling on shops in the town to return the last few signed petition forms.
Before the station closed in 1970, Fleetwood was linked directly to Poulton station and from there, connected up to the rest of the country.
But when the amenity was lost as part of the controversial, nationwide Beeching cuts the town was dealt a heavy blow.
Coun Stirzaker was initially hoping to obtain 10,000 names from her petition so the Government would respond to it and she extended its time period to a year in a bid to gather more names.
But although the petition has generated only a third of that number, she vows the campaign will will make its way to parliament.
Coun Stirzaker said: “So far we have 3,000 names which amounts to more than one in ten people in Fleetwood wanting the rail link to return.
“It is not the number I was hoping for but I that is still a fair number of people and if I can get these last remaining forms sent back to me, there will obviously be some more.
“I am hoping the shops can get those forms back to me as soon as possible so we can still get the petition to our MP, Cat Smith.
“I can’t overestimate how much we need the rail link back.
“The town centre is dying a death and the main highway link, the A585, is one of the most congested roads in the North West.
“We should never have lost the link in the first place but I believe that if there is a big enough call for it to be restored, I think there is a chance it can happen.”
Coun Stirzaker is also liaising with a task group of cross-party Wyre councillors looking into the rail link’s restoration.
She added: “The rail link’s return is also a key part of the Wyre Dock Development project which underlines how vital it is.
“A town of nearly 30,000 people must have a rail link – especially as we are on a peninsular and badly served by the road network.”
Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, said: "I’d like to thank Coun Stirzaker for her continued support in bringing transport connectivity to Fleetwood.
"I’m committed to reopening a direct fast transport link between Fleetwood and Poulton and I’m continuing to meet with all the relevant authorities to make this happen."
Anyone who still has a signed petition form in their shop and is ready to return it can contact Coun Stirzaker by phone on 07894 541895 or via email on [email protected]