The Secretary of State for Transport has approved the funding grant for the bid to double services on the South Fylde line.
The approval and paying of the grant, not exceeding £50,000, means the Government is pleased at the progress being made by the bid team looking to introduce a passing loop on the line.
Fylde MP Mark Menzies, along with Blackpool South MP Scott Benton, lodged a successful Restoring Your Railway bid scheme last year, with a view to doubling rail services on the vastly-underused South Fylde line.
Mr Menzies said: “This line has had too infrequent a service, and too poor a record of cancellations in the past, rendering it unusable for anyone wanting to commute or get to college.
“Doubling services to two per hour makes it viable and better infrastructure will help increase punctuality and decrease the number of cancellations.
“It will not only improve access to the wider rail network for Fylde residents, it will also put more education and employment opportunities in the reach of those relying on public transport. It will also significantly increase the number of tourists to our coastal area.”
Fylde Council is acting as the lead authority on the project and has been working with Network Rail, Northern Rail, the Community Rail Partnership and the two MPs’ offices to press ahead with the bid.
Network Rail has been engaged to complete a capacity analysis, which includes looking at timetabling and platform space at Preston, and a further consultant will be appointed to complete a Strategic Outline Business Case.
The Government’s confirmation of grant to complete the business case is confirmation the project is progressing as planned.