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Shoddy trains losing conference business, says Blackpool hotelier

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Blackpool seafront

A seaside destination is losing conference business because of its poor trains, a hotel boss has claimed.

Campaigners in Blackpool are up in arms over plans to use old rail stock on services to the town while a raft multi-million pound rail projects are coming on-line in the south.

Hotel owners say the units, manufactured in the 1970s and 80s are likely to break down and will give a dreadful impression of Blackpool as a conference destination.

Claire Smith, who runs two hotels in the town, says she has lost conference business in the past because rail links were not good enough.

She told CN: “We had a booking from a national cash and carry firm - a flagship event for the company. But they couldn’t get their reps to the town without two or three changes and that is not good enough. We know this is not an easy place to get to.

“The ‘new’ rolling stock will be from the 70s and 80s. It is not going to be a good experience. We are getting down-south left-overs.”

Mandy Tythe-McCallum, tourism manager at VisitBlackpool said: “I have had no negative feedback about the rolling stock. Hoteliers have told us they are pleased that direct services from London Euston have cut journey times to three hours. We are bringing organisers to the town to see the improved offer and things are on the up.”

Hugh Evans, deputy chief executive of the North West Chamber of Commerce, told the Blackpool Gazette: “We welcome the news there are plans to bring extra passengers to Blackpool. But we do not welcome the news that they plan to do so using old rolling stock that’s past its sell-by date. Blackpool needs more visitors but if they’re arriving by train then they need to do so in comfort and style.”

 Do you have news for CN? Email: John Keenan

30 Jan 15

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