Blackpool MP remains angry over rail bus links

Gordon Mardsen, MP for Blackpool South
Gordon Mardsen, MP for Blackpool South
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A Blackpool MP says passengers should not have to wait until November for an improvement to rail replacement bus services.

Gordon Mardsen, MP for Blackpool South, has been highly critical of Northern Rail over its bus provision during weekend closures of the Blackpool North line.

Network Rail's 'orange army' at work in Poulton as part of the Blackpool to Preston upgrade

Network Rail's 'orange army' at work in Poulton as part of the Blackpool to Preston upgrade

The Gazette revealed last week that the line between Blackpool and Preston will close completely between November and March.

Northern has promised its transport provider is to invest in a new fleet of buses in time for the four and a half month complete shutdown.

But Mr Marsden says passengers should not have to put up with sub-standard transport in the meantime.

He said: “From my own observations I have to say the rail replacement bus operation is not good enough.

“The coaches and buses are fine for most passengers. But the issue is that they are not always disability accessible.

“The buses I have caught during the weekday evening closures have been, why can that not happen at a weekend?

“What is needed is consistency.

“The weekend closures run until April, people should not have to wait until November for this to be resolved.”

Northern said it was doing all it could to support passengers.

A spokesman said: “We recognise the current replacement road transport is not fully accessible which is why customers that cannot be conveyed by coach will be provided with a DDA compliant taxi free of charge.”