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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

More On The Fylde Coast Loop Line

John Woodman

One of the intriguing items contained in Blackpool's forward thinking vision now submitted to government departments and funding agencies is recommendation for a light rail loop line to be created serving the north and south fylde communities, as well as of course the resort itself. An initial preparatory feasibility study has been completed on the basis of reopening/reutilising the dormant railway right of way (with track) the runs from Poulton as far as Wyre Dock in Fleetwood.

As part of a national review of improving connections for cut off (by rail) communities still suffering from the after effects of Dr Beeching's remedies applied during the 1960s, especial attention is being given to reversing their enforced economic impact. This means the reopening of branch lines that still provide unimpeded right of way with potential connection to the national network. A strong case for Fleetwood regaining a railway connection is being made by Lancashire County Council with support from Local Authorities following a funded study into options for its future use. The issue of how a new rail service running from the track junction at Poulton station (currently cut off) remains to be determined; as does the question of where a new railway terminal station in Fleetwood could be sited. The possibility of extending the present retained trackbed from its existing end point near to Wyre Dock - is now thwarted as a result of Wyre Council's approval for a new Fish Business Park being sited on vacant land to the east of the A585 main road leading past Wyre Dock property. No doubt this story will continue to run and run.

A further important feature in the planner's toolbox is the underutilised (one train an hour) rail line from Kirkham into Blackpool as far as the moribund dead end halt euphemistically named 'Blackpool South'. Renewal of rail service along the south Fylde line has become a perennial brickbat of local politicians and intending passengers along this relatively affluent coastal route. One particularly robust proposal recommending extending the Blackpool tram service south from Starr Gate to St Annes, and potentially Lytham with connectivity at Kirkham to the national rail network.

Global warming and its profound consequences across the UK and Europe has suddenly emerged as the headline topic sharing space with the impact of a pandemic seemingly initiated (by whatever means) in China. Political leadership at all levels from civic to regional to national government are all having to grapple with fundamental issues they are ill accustomed to dealing with. Whilst the Fylde's localised concerns are just one microscopic


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