Does Fleetwood need a railway?

Poulton railway station
Poulton railway station

TELL us how much you want a railway line to Fleetwood restored.

That’s the aim of a survey of commuters looking into the viability of reopening the line.

Campaigners have been working to restore a service to the line to the port, with one councillor saying it would be “a massive boost” to the economy.

A licence to clear the track has already been granted to the Poulton and Wyre Railway Society. And the society hopes to take the next step and gain public support for a proposed restoration by surveying passengers at Poulton, which is currently the closest station to Fleetwood.

It will then present the results to Network Rail, which has given the society permission to carry out the research.

Secretary Geoff Ogden said: “Our sole purpose is to get the railway open if we possibly can.

“The best thing which could happen is for the line to reopen to regenerate Fleetwood as a commuter option, and as a heritage line to increase tourism.

“We’re in the process of producing a viable business plan that would be acceptable to everybody with regards to the future of the link.

“We need to get a feel for whether people would use it and what sort of percentage would start a journey at Fleetwood.”

Members of the society will survey passengers at Poulton station on Wednesday, and eventually hope to install stations at Thornton, Burn Naze and further into Fleetwood town centre – should the final aim come to fruition. The exact locations of the proposed stations are yet to be finalised.

There has been no railway station in Fleetwood since Wyre Dock station closed to passenger traffic in 1970, and Ron Shewan, who represents the port’s Pharos ward on Wyre Council, believes it could be crucial to the town’s future.

He said: “It would take a considerable amount of money but it would be really vital and would help regenerate the town, and improve connectivity for people who live there.

“Obviously it’s something I’d love to see and it’d be a massive boost to the town. It wouldn’t take much to bring the section of track back into use and the line’s serviceable to a large extent.”

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