Following the Labour Groups proposal at Lancashire County Budget Meeting to produce a feasibility study on developing a rail link between Fleetwood and Poulton. This proposal has been part of the Back on Track (Fleetwood) and friends of Poulton Railway Station local campaigns. That would open up the area for economic development while reducing environmental impact by investing in public transport.
The Conservative Administration voted down this proposal that would have pulled together existing information, planned developments and preparation to develop future rail links, as part of the Transport for the North strategy.
Instead the Conservative Councillors clashed with each other over developing transport infrastructure links, calling for heavy rail, light rail and no trains at all. As a result of this Lancashire County Council now has no clear vision for the economic development of Fleetwood or transport infrastructure within the area.
Councillor Lorraine Beavers spoke on the need for connectivity for the town of Fleetwood and how Fleetwood had declined since the removal of our Train line.
Cllr Lorraine Beavers said “Unfortunately Conservative CC Andrea Kay, Cleverley’s, spoke against the reconnection of our Rail links and explained that we should use the tram to catch a train, so we didn’t need a feasibility study. It takes an hour on the tram to Blackpool and a train journey to Poulton le Fylde from Fleetwood and Thornton would only take approximately 20 minutes.”
“Conservative CC Charlie Edwards, Morecambe South, spoke and voted against a feasibility study as he felt light rail was the way forward.”
“How these people can make these decisions without a transport feasibility study is shocking! This Feasibility study is badly needed to look at how we reconnect our towns to the rail network, it would have included all these options to enable us to unite behind a way forward for local people. Manchester is now considering developing trains that will use light and heavy rail.”
“I call on all Councillors to put your party politics aside and support our aims to connect towns like Fleetwood back to the rail network. We need action not excuses to do nothing to put Fleetwood Back on Track.”