High speed train plan’s muted welcome

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HIGH speed rail station plans has received a cautious welcome from neighbouring borough residents.

Now there has been a pledge that feedback from a consultation meeting will be used to improve the interchange plans for the Lowton site.

MP Andy Burnham MP made good on his pledge to keep residents updated on his discussions with the Government about HS2 when he hosted the public meeting at Lowton Social Club.

Attended by around 200 people, the meeting heard a presentation from Ged Tyrell of Transport for Leigh which is campaigning to bring a rail station to the area.

They are developing a costed and detailed plan to deliver this goal and hope to build support for it from across the North West.

Transport for Leigh believe the proposed HS2 route provides an excellent opportunity for the Leigh area to regain a station.

That is because it would link with the existing Liverpool-Manchester line to create a new interchange off the East Lancs and they believe this can be done at the earliest opportunity with the integration with HS2 at a later stage.

One suggestion put forward by residents which has already been adopted by Transport for Leigh is the inclusion of a relief road linking the proposed new station with Winwick Lane, diverting traffic away from the congested Lane Head area.

Mr Burnham promised to build in other ideas raised at the meeting, including the protection of green space in the area around the proposed station.

And while HS2 will bring disruption, Mr Tyrrell believes it presents a “once-in-a-lifetime” chance to obtain a rail presence for the area rather than just having a HS2 rail line running through bringing all the disruption but with no advantage to the local community and business.