'Express' buses to be laid on between Blackpool and Preston during rail electrification work

Extra buses between Blackpool and Preston will be in operation during the electrification work
Extra buses between Blackpool and Preston will be in operation during the electrification work

Extra buses will be laid on between Blackpool and Preston in busy hours during rail works.

That’s the vow from rail firm Northern and resort transport bosses who say they are confident they will hit their schedules when buses replace trains for five months between the Blackpool and Preston.

Measures have been put in place to cope with traffic and possible delays after concerns were raised over the tight scheduling of services.

But Northern - which sets the timetables - added: “We know that, despite this careful planning, our rail replacement services may encounter delays as a result of heavy traffic or other potential issues,”

After dummy runs were carried out to test the scheduling, Northern has arranged for an ‘express’ service every 15 minutes from Blackpool and Poulton direct to Preston, as well as other services calling at all stations.

And standby buses will ‘fill gaps in the timetable created by’ delays and will ‘provide added capacity’.

The work – to electrify the line – is set to last 19 weeks with buses replacing trains between Blackpool North and Blackpool South and Preston.

Sharon Keith, regional director at Northern, said: “We have worked closely with Blackpool Council to develop bus timetables that will keep customers on the move and ensure all visitors can get to and from one of Britain’s favourite seaside towns.

“With so many services every day – and further standby buses to call on should we experience particularly busy periods – there can be little doubt that Blackpool will remain open for business.

Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council (pictured), added: “We are delighted that the town’s own bus company is providing some of the rail replacement services in and out of Preston during the temporary closure of Blackpool’s two stations and we are confident that their expertise and excellent customer service standards will minimise any impact on travel plans.

“We want everyone to know that Blackpool is very much open for business throughout the period of the rail electrification works.”