Fylde MP Mark Menzies’ pledge on South Fylde rail line

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Fylde MP Mark Menzies met with rail representatives this week to discuss improvements to the South Fylde line.

And hopes are high that a deal can be done to significantly increase the number of services on the line, which has stations in Kirkham, Lytham, St Annes, and one of the UK’s biggest tourist attractions – Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Mr Menzies said: “This week I met with Network Rail and Northern Rail to discuss the improvements we so desperately need on the South Fylde line.

“I’m pleased to see progress is finally being made with a further meeting scheduled this week to start on a development plan.

“I have long called for a passing loop mid-way down the line, so that we can see frequency doubled. “However, I would be receptive to any other methods that will increase the number of trains.

“I have pledged to do all I can to ring-fence funds for the project, and have asked Network Rail to come back to me with some urgency over the ballpark figures we need in order to make this happen.

“I’ve now managed to help bring in all of the necessary funding for the M55 link road, the Preston West Distributor road to the motorway has been given the go-ahead, and this rail link is going to be improved for my constituents.

“The Government is investing in our infrastructure as part of its Northern Powerhouse pledge – and it is most welcome.”

This week’s meeting, between Network Rail, Lancashire County and Blackpool Councils, should see the start of a development plan to improve the line, at a time when services have been stopped as the Blackpool North line is electrified.

While the line is out of action, stations will be improved. Kirkham and Wesham Station will be redeveloped to have a new platform and two lifts, making it fully accessible, and ticket machines will be installed at all of the other stations.

Northern Rail has also pledged to take the much-derided Pacer trains off the tracks for good.

Mr Menzies added: “I’m delighted to see the Pacer trains will no longer be running on the line from the end of 2019, with bigger, comfier, and more reliable diesel units set to take to the rails.

“These rail lines have been neglected for decades. I’m delighted to see these changes which will mean more passengers – and more investment – in the area.”

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