Boost for Leigh’s rail campaign

Shake on it...MP Andy Burnham welcomes Ged Tyrrell director of transport for Leigh to the meeting at Leigh Sports Village watched by ltr MP Dave Watts, Lord Peter Smith, and Trevor Barton MBE chief executive Leigh Centurions.
Shake on it...MP Andy Burnham welcomes Ged Tyrrell director of transport for Leigh to the meeting at Leigh Sports Village watched by ltr MP Dave Watts, Lord Peter Smith, and Trevor Barton MBE chief executive Leigh Centurions.

LEIGH’S movers and shakers are backing a scheme to use the Government’s flagship super-fast train service to re-connect Leigh to the rail network.

A short loop line would be built from the existing local route to a new interchange, located right next to the East Lancs Road at Lowton, and there are also plans for a 250-space car park.

The new station has been proposed by campaign group Transport for Leigh, which previously pushed to build a spur line to a station at Pennington, and is being backed by a number of prominent figures in the Leigh community, including MP Andy Burnham, leader of Wigan Council Lord Peter Smith and Leigh Centurions chief executive Trevor Barton.

Mr Burnham said: “Many people in Leigh would say a new train station is the top priority for the town, and this proposal brings the next generation of rail travel to the very heart of the North West.

“I have already spoken to the Transport Secretary and he has said he has an open mind on the development, so it is up to us to prove the case for our regional interchange.”

Lord Smith said: “What is particularly interesting about the HS2 route is it uses the old Wigan Junction line which travelled through Lowton St Mary’s but was closed by Beeching.”

The scheme is expected to cost around £85m but is likely to have a higher benefit-to-cost ratio than the main project to build HS2.

Transport for Leigh is setting up a survey on its website to gain feedback from residents and potential commuters on the plans. For more information, visit www.transportforleigh.org.uk