Time for Poulton inter-city

Virgin's Super Voyager tilting train which cuts the time of inter city journeys ... and  looks set to stop at Poulton.
Virgin's Super Voyager tilting train which cuts the time of inter city journeys ... and looks set to stop at Poulton.

London to Blackpool trains will now stop at Poulton-le-Fylde, predicts local MP Ben Wallace.

The Wyre MP says he’s celebrating success after meeting with Virgin Rail chiefs to lobby for the extra stop at Poulton on the London to Blackpool link route.

Mr Wallace said, “I am delighted that Virgin has listened and barring any technical difficulties will be including Poulton I am delighted that Virgin has listened on the Blackpool to London line.

“I would like to thank all concerned residents who contacted me to highlight their concerns and also pass on their local knowledge to me.

“From the outset I was determined to fight the decision not to stop at Poulton and now due to Virgin’s rethink, residents will be able to go to London direct.”

In a letter to Mr Wallace, Virgin confirmed that it has developed the proposal and a more detailed analysis has shown that platform lengthening designed to accommodate six-car TPE Desiro trains does in fact allow for a call at Poulton.

Checks are continuing for such things as disabled access. But Mr Wallace says that Virgin has planned stops at Poulton for the proposed Blackpool services which it is now seeking approval for.

A spokesman for Virgin said: “When we started planning our services for Blackpool we always hoped to be able to stop at Poulton. The investigations we have made since make it likely this could happen. We now need to take a train there to make sure everything is correct and we hope to be serving the people of Poulton from December this year.” Mr Wallace also welcomed recent news that there will be a £214m investment in 47 colleges across the country, including Preston College’s planned new Enterprise and Learning zone and careers hub. He said: “This new investment will benefit Preston College and will result in an improvement to buildings and facilities and the overall student experience through the ‘IN-ZONE’.”

The ‘IN-ZONE’ aims to put Enterprise at the ‘heart’ of Preston College, creating an Enterprise Zone, Learning Zone and Careers Information Advice and Guidance (CIAG) Hub. Mr Wallace said: “I am delighted that the college will benefit from this Government cash injection and I look forward to visiting the College in the near future.”

The focus will be on enterprise and jobs, enhanced by high quality learning space and CIAG to support the learner journey.

The three areas will be linked by a ‘heart-space’ over two floors.