Opinion: Speed up train work

Blackpool transport chief John Jones urges rail bosses to speed up their work to increase capacity on the West Coast Main Line.

Cllr John JonesNetwork Rail and the Office of Rail Regulation have said that they aim to increase capacity enough to introduce a direct train between London and Blackpool by 2016.

I’m astonished that the work to increase capacity on the lines is expected to take this long. It’s vitally important that we bring in a direct line to Blackpool. We’ve been campaigning for this service for a long time but we simply cannot afford to wait for yet another three years.

Realistically, this work needs to completed by 2014 at the latest. Everybody seems to appreciate the huge boost that a direct line will bring to the resort, including Virgin Trains.

It will help to put Blackpool on the map to millions of people who live in London, as well as making commuting between here and the capital a much more feasible proposition for many.

Like many, I regularly travel to London using the train, and completely understand the frustrations of people who have to currently change at Preston.

I’m really pressing for us to get the line up and running as soon as possible, but this will only be achieved by working to tighter timescales.

I hope that all the people involved in improving the capacity recognise our sense of urgency to get the line open. Cllr John Jones Cabinet member for highways and transport Blackpool Council