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Railway could make Fleetwood 'major tourist destination'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Boris Johnson visits the disused Fleetwood and Poulton-le-Fylde line
PA Media
Boris Johnson visited the disused Fleetwood and Poulton-le-Fylde line during the general election campaign

The restoration of the disused railway line to Fleetwood from Poulton-le-Fylde could make the coastal town a "major tourist destination", according to a local enthusiast.

Brian Crawford, chairman of the Poulton & Wyre Railway Society, tells the BBC's Today programme: "Small teams of volunteers have used cutters and chainsaws to cut trees down and clear gravel. Now there are seven miles of clear track ready to put rolling stock on.

"The line from Euston to Fleetwood opened up in 1840 and was the first railway to connect any coastal resort at that time.

"There are two aims - one of commuters going to work and the other one is to make Fleetwood a major tourist destination. It has a fantastic seafront but without a railway, we don't seem to get that many visitors."

Unifinished business: £3m spent so far on emergency base

Bob Cooper

Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

More than £3m has been spent on an emergency services base in Cumbria, that still stands half-built when it should should have been finished two years ago, BBC Cumbria has established.

Half-finished building

Work on the base for the police, fire and ambulance services in Ulverston, called the Blue Light Hub, was held up by a contractual dispute.

Cumbria County Council has refused to release details of any pay-out to its former contractor.

The authority says it's now got a new builder in place and hopes soon to say more about when work will re-start.

How to keep your favourite pet on a healthy weight regime.
Vets urge well-meaning owners to limit the treats and keep their pets at a healthy weight.

Heroin dealer jailed for drugs and cash offences

A drug dealer from Liverpool who was found in Barrow with heroin with a street value of £3,600, and more than £2,300 in cash, has been jailed for 28 months.

Stephen Beswick
Cumbria Police

Stephen Beswick, 49, of Finch Lane, Knotty Ash, was sentenced at Preston Crown Court after he admitted possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply and possession of criminal property.

Beswick was found when police raided a house in Ramsden Street in Barrow, and had initially denied the drugs were his.

Afterwards a spokesman for South Cumbria CID said: "Beswick is the latest person from outside the county to learn that Cumbria is no soft touch for drugs supply."

Ambulances get 5,000 calls on New Year's Day

Cumbria's ambulance service said it saw a spike in calls over the festive period.

Figures released by the North West Ambulance Service showed it received more than 5,000 calls on New Year's Day alone.

NHS 111, the non-emergency service, also reported a high number of calls, with more than 12,000 recorded on the 28 December.

Her mother says she became "miserable" after she and her daughter spent the day alone.
Melanie Moffatt says she became "miserable" after she spent the day alone with daughter Matilda.
Some schools are opening in the holidays to offer meals for pupils from poor backgrounds.
Some schools are opening in the Christmas holidays to offer meals for pupils from poor families.