Gordon has said local public transport networks in Blackpool can be the mechanism that can empower people of all ages and groups in Blackpool and across the rest of the North West.Gordon_Bus_users.jpg

The Blackpool South MP and also Shadow Transport Minister spoke after being a guest panellist at a fringe event; “The future of Transport: Moving Britain Forward” during the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.

Gordon said: “In Blackpool where car ownership is below the national average, a strong local public transport network is crucial and can be the mechanism that can empower people of all ages and groups across the town.

“For young people or those seeking work, a well-run transport network can be key in supporting them to find and access high skilled jobs, training and educational opportunities.

“Government has an important responsibility to help people find work and this is one of the ways we can give them the necessary support by having a transport network that puts their needs first.

“Public transport, particularly Buses have been an essential lifeline for many elderly and disabled residents living in Blackpool.

“In my position as Honorary President, I have seen the success of co-ordinated schemes such as Ridability. Working with Blackpool Council, this service has given the opportunity for some of our most vulnerable people to leave their homes so they can engage and participate in the wider Fylde community. Without such a service in place, this could potentially lead to loneliness and isolation from friends, family and other groups of people.

“Also our successful Trams network helps local people to travel up and down the Fylde Coast, either for work or leisure reasons. Our tram system is a proud part of Blackpool’s history and is one of the appeals to our many visitors who come to visit in the season.

“I am also continuing to make the case for improvements to the South Fylde rail line because it is crucial to the South Shore economy by bringing more people into the area.

“Northern Rail’s decision to reinstate a key commuter service from Blackpool South to Preston has also been an important step. But along with the Council and other organisations we need to continue to make the case for better connections across Lancashire. This reinforces the point that we need to devolve transport funding and give more power to local decision makers.

“A well-coordinated and passenger focused public transport can have enormous benefits, both social and economic. It can reduce congestion, pollution and accidents, but also help to boost our local economy improving the link with our coast and the rural areas on the Fylde.

“I will continue to make these points to the Government on behalf of my constituents in Blackpool but I can assure them that the Labour Party will recognise the wider potential of public transport and use it as a vehicle to empowering local people.”

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