Grant Shapps is set to announce the third round of the New Stations Fund on a visit to Fleetwood today with a fresh £20m funding round. The previous two rounds have been highly sought after by councils and have enabled the development of ten new railway stations on the network.
Further announcements will include:
£1.5 million to the Ashington-Blyth-Tyne Line in Northumberland, and £100,000 to the Fleetwood line in Lancashire to develop proposals
£300,000 committed to an ‘Ideas Fund’ to kickstart the process to encourage innovative ideas that will then be considered for further funding in the future.
The previous rounds of the New Stations Fund have enabled local authorities to deliver a number of projects over the last seven years that have been trapped in a cycle of rising costs as design standards changed and construction costs accelerated. It has provided the additional few million pounds required to show commitment from national government.
The launch in Fleetwood will attract raised eyebrows from a number of people interested in this arena. Fleetwood is already served by a tram line from Blackpool. However, the line has potential with various groups supporting heavy rail, light rail and even heritage railway opportunities. It’s not a matter of if for Fleetwood-Poulton, but when.