Coronavirus: New Blackpool to London rail route plans axed


Plans for a new rail service between Blackpool and London have been scrapped due to a fall in demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

Grand Central’s route would have linked the seaside town with Preston, Nuneaton, Milton Keynes and Euston.

Direct services to the capital currently exist but are infrequent.

Managing director Richard McClean said it was “heartbreaking” to ditch the expansion plans but it was “not feasible” in the current climate.

Offices had been set up with extra staff taken on including drivers as part of the project.

Yorkshire-based Grand Central said talks were under way between affected employees and rail unions over potential job losses.

‘Not feasible’

Mr McClean said: “So much effort has been put into these exciting plans.

“But the pandemic and its effect on our expansion plans have just proved too big an obstacle.

“It became more obvious that to invest in what is essentially a start-up enterprise in this climate was simply not feasible.”

Grand Central started a “measured” return for its services at the end of July after after a four-month period of hibernation during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The service had been due to launch in Spring.

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Olivia Wilson
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