Call for new railway station

Members of The Lowton East Neighbourhood Development Forum (LENDF) at the former Kenyon junction rail station.
LTR coun James Grundy, Ed Thwaite, Ray Bent and landowner John Fallon
Members of The Lowton East Neighbourhood Development Forum (LENDF) at the former Kenyon junction rail station. LTR coun James Grundy, Ed Thwaite, Ray Bent and landowner John Fallon

A residents’ group is encouraging transport bosses to revive its plan to reconnect parts of the borough to the regional rail network.

Lowton East Neighbourhood Development Forum (Lendf) chair Ed Thwaite is calling on Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to look again at installing a train station at Kenyon Junction.

The renewed support for the proposal comes as the transport authority has been criticised in Leigh for not including any mention of a train station for the town in its 2040 Strategy document.

Mr Thwaite, who has called for the Kenyon Junction station for several years, believes it is the most cost-effective solution to the area’s rail issue.

He said: “Kenyon Junction just makes so much sense it’s stupid it’s not happening.

“The site is literally one field away from the end of Atherleigh Way and the bypass and could serve Leigh town centre with a small shuttle bus.

“It’s on the existing line, there’s an old goods yard there with parking for lots of cars and there are trains going through every 20 minutes which could take us into Manchester in quarter of an hour.”

Lendf is also calling for bus services to line up better with the railway, saying commuters can get a train from Newton-le-Willows but there are no buses to take them home when they return in the evening.

The group is being backed in its call for changes by Lowton East ward representative Coun James Grundy.

He said: “I do think Leigh has suffered from the focus on the busway to the exclusion of other solutions to transport problems, such as the need for additional parking at Atherton station.

“Manchester is reasonably well integrated but for communities on the edge of the borough there’s still work to do in terms of working with neighbouring authorities.”

TfGM met with Lendf to discuss its concerns about public transport in Lowton following the publication of the initial draft of the 2040 strategy.

The organisation said it had no control over deregulated bus services, but the elected mayor of Greater Manchester could be given powers to introduce franchising.

Nicola Kane, TfGM head of strategic planning and research, said: “The Greater Manchester Transport Strategy 2040 provides a long-term framework to improve transport across the whole city region. On an ongoing basis we continue to work closely with communities and our local authority partners to put in place the right local improvements to support development and make travel easier.”