Hope over train line

Lytham station
Lytham station
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A TRADERS’ leader has expressed the hope that a lasting legacy of the Open Golf’s highly-successful staging this summer could be an improved rail link between South Fylde and Preston.

John Moxham, chairman of St Annes Chamber of Trade, told this week’s meeting of the Chamber he felt strongly the single-track line going through Lytham, Ansdell and St Annes to Blackpool South simply had to improve.

Mr Moxham has already called for investment in the line following reports of train carriages being so packed with passengers at weekends that it has been unsafe to access doors and passengers had to wait for the return journey to get off at their required stops.

“I think The Open showed up just how much improvement is needed to our rail link and hopefully those responsible will take notice,” said Mr Moxham.

“Everything went so well in the staging of the tournament from every point of view, apart from the only rail access being this local line which is like changing to a coach and horses after travelling on the main line. I know someone who has just started using the trains again after 20-odd years and he can’t believe how bad it is.

“Lytham Station in particular needs improvement. It looks fine from the outside but then you enter and it is like the Third World.”

During The Open, the usual hourly service was increased to half hourly for golf fans but the single track meant the only way to achieve that was for the trains to go no further than Ansdell.

Buses linked stations further up the line, including St Annes, where major improvements had been carried out in advance of the tournament.