Support for reopening of closed train track

Paul Nettleton, chairman of the Blackpool and Fylde Rail Users Association.
Paul Nettleton, chairman of the Blackpool and Fylde Rail Users Association.
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ALMOST half of passengers at Poulton station would use a rail service to Fleetwood, according to new figures.

Poulton and Wyre Railways Society says 49 per cent of commuters questioned during a survey it conducted would travel on a reopened line between the two towns.

The society has been campaigning to reopen the line, with proposed stations including Thornton and Freeport, and now intends to present a report of its findings to Network Rail.

Its secretary, Geoff Ogden, told the Gazette: “The results are quite positive.

“It would look as though it presents a reasonable case.

“We identified three types of passengers - people who would use it to commute, those that would use it for leisure because there were quite a lot of people that would like to use it to get to Fleetwood for shopping, and those that wouldn’t use it at all.

“We wanted to gauge what the public reaction was and it’s very good.

“It does suggest there is a very good case to provide a service for commuters.

“Let’s just hope that it does come to fruition.”

The research was carried out over the course of a single morning with the permission of Network Rail.

Of 236 passengers surveyed, 117 said they would make use of the proposed route if it became reality.

The society eventually hopes to install stations at Thornton, Burn Naze and further into Fleetwood town centre – should the final aim come to fruition.

The exact locations of the proposed stations are yet to be finalised, but a licence to clear the existing track to prepare it for a reopened service has already been granted to the society.

There has been no railway station in Fleetwood since Wyre Dock station closed to passenger traffic in 1970.

Paul Nettleton, chairman of the Blackpool and Fylde Rail Users Association, said: “The results are very much in line with what I thought they would be.

“Fleetwood is one of the biggest towns in the country without a proper rail service, and the roads leading to Fleetwood are heavily used so we’ve got to get people on public transport.

“If you’re going to do something like this it’s imperative you get support and it’s all looking very positive, so good luck to them.”

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