I lodged a Restoring Your Railway bid for the South Fylde line in the past week, aIong with Scott Benton, MP for Blackpool South.
The bid includes the provision of a passing loop on the line to double services to both Preston and Blackpool South, and give us a rail service worth using along with improvements at stations and new signalling.
I have called for a passing loop ever since I became the MP for Fylde – the decision to rip out the second line in the 1980s, reducing our service to one train per hour was dreadful and has rendered the line all but useless to commuters, students and many day trippers. A loop would undo that damage at a fraction of the cost of a full new line. That bid is now being looked at by ministers.
I have also spoken to ministers once again about more help for our coastal communities as we emerge from lockdown.
I have been in touch with businesses here in Fylde and tourism organisations and they need clarity and lead-in time to ensure they can be ready for reopening. I am pleased to see caravan and campsites finally given permission to reopen - they are ideally suited to a world where we must practice social distancing and will allow people respite from being at home, bringing much-needed money into our local economy.
We are also exploring options including some road closures to allow our cafes and restaurants to serve people in temporary seating spaces outside.
I hope everyone is supporting our high street stores as they reopen – I know some are waiting until July but many are already trading.
It is vital we can visit these shops safely, and it is vital we get these businesses back up and running.
We are still not through this pandemic yet but we are getting there together. Stay Safe.