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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Connectivity Counts

As the country thankfully edges close to the national election this week when finally some sort of ending emerges from three years of thankless political and parliamentary mind-games over the 2016 EU referendum result - we are being treated to endless pledges from nearly all of the competing Parties.

Of especial note, after the NHS, is recognition of the need for a change of tack on the way this country's railway system is owned, managed and operated. Labour has nailed its colours to the mast of de-privatisation and bringing the railway operators into public ownership. Allied to this are declarations of intent to revisit the consequences of the Beeching cull of branch lines (and others) with expectation that some may be brought back to operational condition reconnecting towns long cut off from rail services entirely. Fleetwood stands out as far as the northwest is concerned in this regard.

There is a build up of public and social pressure in the Fylde obliging Public Authorities to pay more than just lip service to a rail over roads agenda. Local politicians choosing to dismiss these forces do so at the risk of early dismissal from comfortable sinecure seats by a new generation well aware they have been taken for granted. The activists seeking to renew and strengthen the south Fylde railway to something more than an hourly shuttle ; others working to restore the Poulton to Fleetwood right of way so it can once again carry commuters into and out of Thornton and Fleetwood; the impressive work of Blackpool Transport's planners aided by Blackpool Council for an extended light rail loop in Fleetwood aiding the town's regeneration, especially along its neglected riverfront - are in harmony with yet a further rail led project benefitting north Fylde communities as reported yesterday in this Blog.

Given the shopping list of policy promises from both Labour and Tory hq's ; allied to the accepted public view that the north of England has been hard done by in past decades as far as infrastructure spending is concerned ; its certainly time to hold the new Government and its Departments to account from 2020 onwards. Polling Booths have a salutory effect on politicians of all hues - Thursday (tomorrow) is the chance to reinforce your concerns with a tick against deliverers as opposed to wafflers. Go for it.

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