Fylde Council is making progress in enhancing accessibility at Squires Gate Station, bringing us one step closer to a more inclusive community. Currently, the station’s platform remains inaccessible due to a steep flight of stairs, posing challenges for individuals with mobility issues, wheelchair users, and parents with prams.
Progress towards achieving level access to the platform began in 2018 when the potential for creating an inclusive route from New Road was identified. However, acquiring a small piece of land became essential. With no clear ownership evidence, Fylde Council initiated a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO). Following the legally required notice and objection period, the CPO was finalised and submitted for confirmation to the Secretary of State, receiving approval in November 2022.
In January 2023, a public notice formalised the CPO’s placement, followed by the making and serving of a General Vesting Declaration in May 2023, marking the completion of the CPO process in August 2023.
The next step involves registering the land with the Land Registry, a process currently in progress. Pending successful registration, Fylde Council intends to offer the land to Lancashire County Council, with the goal of establishing an accessible route from New Road to Squires Gate Station’s platform.
Cllr Karen Buckley, Leader of the Council, said: “This initiative marks a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to creating a level access to the station platform at Squires Gate Railway Station. Improving access has been a longstanding goal, and I’m thrilled to see it progressing. Ensuring that everyone, regardless of their mobility, can access our public transport facilities easily is a crucial step towards making our town more welcoming and convenient for all residents and visitors.”
Ownership of the route includes Lancashire County Council as the Highways Authority, Persimmon Homes for the primary access route, Fylde Council for the acquired land, and Network Rail, which owns the station platform and the associated fence requiring modification to accessibility. To ensure seamless maintenance of the future access route for public use, unified ownership of the entire length up to the station platform is essential.
Although a timescale for the carrying out of the works cannot be provided at this time, all parties involved will continue to work together to progress the project.
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