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Campaigners renew calls for Lytham tram extension

Campaigners are calling for further work to be done to investigate the feasibility of a potential extension of the Blackpool Tramway to St Annes and Lytham via the South Fylde railway line.

The group Trams to Lytham have released a report this morning saying current public transport links are inadequate. 

The idea has the support of over 3,000 petition signatures but a study carried out in 2014 put the cost of such a project at up to £255 million.

The group claim if funding could be found it could be complete by 2030.

Sam Flynn, Lead Campaigner of Trams to Lytham, said: ''Extending the Tramway to Lytham would provide an integrated, modern transport system for the Fylde Coast. Linking the popular network and its five million annual passengers to the underutilised South Fylde Line will solve many of the issues facing the area. It will bring a reliable and more frequent service that the inadequate route desperately needs.

''Travelling between Blackpool and South Fylde is difficult and lengthy, and neither the hourly train service nor the often-unreliable buses are satisfactory. There are only two major roads between them, so congestion is a huge issue. An alternative corridor is sorely needed, and this solution would provide it with direct links to the Town Centre, Enterprise Zone and other key areas. There would be a lot more stops for thousands of residents and a more accessible service for disabled people. It’s a much more well-balanced option than simply increasing the number of trains on the line.

''Our lengthy report highlights these important issues and why this project needs more consideration by councils. It’s a hugely popular idea and has the support of over 3,000 petition signatures as well as many influential local people, and our campaign was highly commended at the 2018 Global Light Rail Awards. Light rail has been a revolution in towns and cities worldwide in recent decades, and the Fylde shouldn’t miss out on its huge potential.''

Paul Rowen, Chairman of the Light Rail Transit Association, said: ''We are very happy to support Trams to Lytham in its campaign to extend the Blackpool tramway to Lytham and St Anne's and to bring the benefits of efficient and clean public transport to a substantial area of the Fylde Coast. Folk in Lytham and St Anne’s have a very poor rail service to Blackpool at the moment and the line could be extended on to the Blackpool tram system very economically giving residents direct access into the centre of Blackpool.”

The report will be submitted to local authorities and stakeholders for their consideration.

You can view the report here: https://1drv.ms/b/s!Ap09ubFyGhyigQacEqLbO-pHTClh

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