It has long been an aspiration to provide level access to the platform so that mobility impaired passengers could avoid carrying heavy luggage, baby buggies etc up or down the access stairs from Squires Gate Lane. In 2018 the opportunity to provide this came with the redevelopment of the former Pontins holiday camp site by Coastal Dunes Housing.
The new access route has got tantalisingly close to the station platform but, and it is a very big but, there is a piece of land adjacent to the platform that no one knows who owns it. So Fylde Council decided to acquire the land by obtaining a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO). This has been moving forward and is now moving into the final stages when it is expected that a General Vesting Order will be issued to Fylde Council at which point the land becomes their property.
Cllr Karen Buckley, Leader of Fylde Council and ward councillor for the area said:
“Although the progress of this particular project has been lengthy, it does now feel that we are nearing the end of the legal process and will soon be able to move ahead with plans to create a platform that will be accessible to all.”
While the CPO process has been on-going, Lancashire County Council’s Rail Development Manager, Mike Cliffe, has been negotiating with relevant parties to ensure the new access can be constructed as soon as possible once the land is obtained by Fylde Council.
Richard Watts, Chair of Community Rail Lancashire (CRL), commented:
“Providing level access to stations is one of the key priorities for CRL and we welcome the actions being taken by Fylde Council and Lancashire County Council to ensure the success of this project”.