MP calls for bus service rethink

Mark Menzies MP

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has called for rail bosses to rethink bus replacement service times in Fylde over fears passengrs will miss train connections.
Mr Menzies has written to Northern Rail after the firm published a bus replacement service timetable which gave services just 20 minutes totravelfrom Poulton to Kirkham, and 25 from Kirkham to Preston.
He said: “I am concerned that these timings are so tight; Poulton to Kirkham is around 18 minutes in light traffic, and Kirkham to Preston is 22 minutes in light traffic.
“To leave just 20 and 25 minutes respectively for these trips, I suggest, is a mistake, especially when we take into account potential delays on the A583 and in Preston city centre.
“It is vital for passengers to have a clear idea of arrival and departure times on the buses so that they can effectively plan their forward journeys.
“I have now written to Northern to ask them to increase the length of time they have allowed for this bus link, to ensure passengers are given a fair indication of the time it will take between stations.
“It is vital for passengers to have a clear idea of arrival and departure times on the buses so that they can effectively plan their forward journeys.”
The replacement services on the Fylde lines begin on November 11 as electrification works are caried out on the Preston to Blackpool North line.
The Blackpool North line will remain closed until March 25, while Volker Rail work on the 17-mile route.
The electrification works will mean improvements to the South Fyle line timings – trains will no longer have to wait for Blackpool North Services which previously shared some track.
Kirkham and Wesham Station will also get a huge upgrade, with a new platform and two lifts to make it fully accessible.
The bus replacement services will be operated by Blackpool Transport, which will use 20 brand new state-of-the-art buses on the route.
The firm has yet to carry out any test runs for timings, but Northern Rail bosses insist the replacement service timings can be met.

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