Upgrade hope for Fylde rail services

A train on the South Fylde Line at Lytham station
A train on the South Fylde Line at Lytham station
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A key feature which would double the frequency of trains on the South Fylde line could be set to move a major step closer.

The rail line which runs from Blackpool South to Colne and includes six Fylde stations has been identified as a contender for improvements if Preston is successful in a bid for a share of the Government’s £2.5bn Transforming Cities Fund.

Preston has been announced by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling as the latest city eligible for a share of the fund and will receive £50,000 to develop a business case.

The announcement coincides with a meeting Fylde MP Mark Menzies has had with Rail Minister Andrew Jones and senior officials from the Department of Transport to talk about the South Fylde line – and a passing loop at Lytham was a key item on the agenda.

A loop would allow the frequency of trains on the single-track line to be increased from the current one per hour.

Mr Menzies said: “It was a very productive meeting.

“I outlined the overwhelming case for a passing loop, which would bring about an increase in capacity and frequency of service on the line.

“It would also ensure trains would be more effectively aligned with ongoing and incoming services at Preston.

“As a result of my previous work on this, a study is currently being undertaken to look at the costs and benefits.

“The minister has asked to be kept fully informed, which I hope will enable us to get this project finally signed off.”