Local connectivity, be it via public transport or within local areas, has been a consistent theme of late. On Wednesday I held an adjournment debate on the South Fylde Line, which remains my leading infrastructure priority. Although scheduled several weeks ago, the intervening period had since seen confirmation that the funding for HS2’s northern leg would instead be pumped into regional transport, giving the debate added significance.
I spoke about the line’s importance to our economy, particularly for commuters or bringing tourists to the Fylde coast, and highlighted how the never ending excuses for delays and cancellations had led to many losing faith in the service. That many now drive to Preston to get on the mainline there is absurd and demonstrates the need for a passing loop that will limit the knock-on effects of issues on the line and increase the frequency of trains.
Beyond trains, walking and cycling remain important, something many of us take for granted and I met with Lancashire County Council regarding the installation of a pedestrian crossing at the A585 in Kirkham, near the Ribby Roundabout. It is an area that continues to see significant development for housing, and it is essential that local infrastructure keeps pace with a growing population, including many young families. Having first raised the issue in 2020 it is incredibly frustrating that we are still without spades in the ground, let alone a completed crossing. I remain hopeful we are near the end of this saga, but I will continue to hold the Council to account for their slow progress until we have that crossing.
Fylde does so much to commemorate our wartime heritage and it was great to visit Hanger 42, located by Blackpool Airport, which celebrates the history of that most iconic of planes, the Spitfire. The local community contributed to the war effort by purchasing a Spitfire that was later shot down in action, a replica of which now stands proudly at Fairhaven Lake. Having led the campaign for the RAF Memorial, John Coombes has since taken on the Hanger 42 project, and it was fantastic to learn about their growing educational offering, which includes several restored aircraft and the UK’s only life-size Spitfire simulator.
A special mention for the European Mini Sand Yachting championships which took place in St Annes this weekend, the latest in a string of events which have put Fylde on the map as a fantastic venue, ready to welcome visitors from around the world. Congratulations to the winning French team while Team GB finished runners-up. Here’s hoping they can go one better at the world championships next year!
Lastly, the first consultation event for the Morgan & Morecambe Offshore Wind project takes places on Thursday at the Newton, Salwick & Clifton Village Hall, Vicarage Lane, PR4 3RU, with the event open to all anytime from 3pm-7pm. There are four further consultation events, a pop-up stall, and a webinar. Further information is available via: https://morecambeandmorgan.com/transmission/our-consultation/