Fresh calls to reconnect Fleetwood's rail links

Railway lines generic Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Back on Track campaign group is continuing a fight for trains to be reconnected to Fleetwood

Residents and councillors are fighting to reconnect train links to one of the largest towns in England not to be served by the rail network.

Fleetwood's station was closed in 1966, with the nearest station now over five miles away in Poulton-le-Fylde.

The Back on Track campaign group is continuing a fight for trains to be re-established.

However, a motion requesting a feasibility study into the issue was rejected by Wyre Council on Thursday.

The refusal was the latest in a series of setbacks. Lancashire County Council also refused a motion calling for £50,000 to be put towards the study at a budget meeting last week.

County councillor Lorraine Beavers and Fleetwood town councillor Mary Stirzaker are supporting the campaign alongside Poulton and Wyre Railway Society (PWRS).

Image copyright ALAN BROWN/PA/BBC
Image caption Dr Richard Beeching's report meant the end of hundreds of stations around the country

Ms Stirzaker, who is also a spokeswoman for PWRS, said she was left "horrified" by the recent knockback but both women remain defiant.

"We're not going to stop asking. We're not going to stop fighting," she added.

Ms Beavers said conversations were already underway with investors, including Fleetwood Town FC, to privately raise the funds needed for the study.

Fleetwood's station was closed following the government's infamous Beeching report, despite the town having a population of over 25,000.

The line once linked the town to nearby Blackpool and Preston.

In 1963, Britain's railways were running at a loss of £140m a year and Dr Richard Beeching was brought in by the British Railways Board to "make the railways pay".

His 27 March 1963 report resulted in the closure of 2,128 stations, more than 8,000 miles (12,875 km) of track and the loss of 67,700 jobs

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