Bid to restore port rail link

A think tank has been set up to look at plans to bring the railway link back to Fleetwood.

Sunday, 24th April 2016, 12:01 pm
Updated Monday, 25th April 2016, 1:23 pm
A diesel multiple unit like this is to be used in Fleetwood.

The town has not had a rail link since it was withdrawn in the 1970s.

The Fleetwood Back on Track group held its inaugural meeting to discuss how a detailed business plan can be put together to help bring back its return.

Fleetwood Town Council set the group up to discuss the issue with organisations such as the Poulton and Wyre Railway Society (PWRS), Wyre Council, Lancashire County Council, Network Rail and Natural Energy Wyre, the company behind the Wyre Barrage plans.

The session, held at Fleetwood Town FC, looked at whether the group should support PWRS plans for a heritage railway which could later to be linked to the national network, or whether to look at possible alternative options.

The think tank group backed the heritage plans, which are already in progress

Fleetwood Town Council member, Coun Norah Stuchfield, chaired the group and said: “The re-opening of the railway would be vital for the regeneration of Fleetwood, it would offer a huge improvement on this town’s transport links.

“It would mean Fleetwood people could travel further for jobs and bring in visitors.”

Fleetwood Town Council is now due to discuss the issue at its next meeting at the town’s North Euston Hotel on Tuesday at 7pm.

The PWRS plans involve setting up a heritage railway which might also have freight and commercial possibilities in future. The group have already bought a diesel train for the service and plan to run it between Fleetwood and Poulton within the next five years, starting first with runs between Thornton and Burn Naze.

Eddie Fisher, president of PWRS, said; “The first meeting of the group was excellent and it was good to get this support from all three councils.”

And Coun Peter Murphy, Wyre Council, who was at the meeting, said: “The PWRS plans are central and much of this hinges on the creation of the heritage railway first, after which we could look at what could be done next. If we want to get any kind of investment there needs to be an in-depth business plan. There is no doubt Fleetwood needs its rail link restored.”