The Trams to Lytham group is campaigning for the potential extension of the Blackpool Tramway to St Anne’s and Lytham via the South Fylde railway line, and are planning a conference to discuss the matter.

Sam Flynn, Lead Campaigner of Trams to Lytham, said “Extending the Tramway south 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.”

“We realise that there have been many plans and proposals recently on how and when to do this, including ideas from Paul Maynard, Blackpool Transport and others. What needs to be agreed on is what the best and most deliverable solution is, and we are hoping that a feasibility study will be commissioned by local councils soon which would include costings, options and viability. Our own light rail concept and outline report break down the scheme into realistic phases, while also keeping the railway.”

“Alongside the LRTA, we are planning the Fylde Coast Light Rail Conference to discuss this and other transport issues in Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde on 18 February at the Imperial Hotel. Light rail has been a revolution in towns and cities worldwide in recent decades, and the time is now to discuss how Fylde can unlock its transport 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.”

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