Delight as major public transport plans for borough to be considered

The £15m scheme to reopen a rail link at Golborne is one of two local proposals going forward to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).
A £15m plan to reopen Golborne train station is set to be consideredA £15m plan to reopen Golborne train station is set to be considered
A £15m plan to reopen Golborne train station is set to be considered

Regional leaders will also consider a £2m plan for a new travel hub, including a park and ride, at Tyldesley.

The schemes are included in a £69.5m package of ideas for boosting public transport infrastructure and use across Greater Manchester which have been set out by the city-region's mayor Andy Burnham.

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Wigan Council leader Coun David Molyneux said the new station at Golborne which would reconnect the township to the national rail network was an important piece of infrastructure.

Golborne Station, which was closed in 1961Golborne Station, which was closed in 1961
Golborne Station, which was closed in 1961

Ward councillors also expressed their delight, saying the decision to include the station in the plans under consideration was the culmination of years of campaigning work by the local community and politicians.

It is hoped the proposals, if approved, will better connect communities, open up opportunities, revitalise town centres and local economies while making neighbourhoods cleaner, greener and healthier.

The transport schemes are also part of plans for the city-region's recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Coun Molyneux said: "The confirmation of funding for a new station at Golborne is superb news. It will connect the town and the wider area with Wigan, Manchester, Cumbria and the Airport, providing more opportunities for our residents, reducing traffic on local roads and regenerating Golborne’s economy.

“This is the result of a lot of hard work, including from the local community and I want to thank everyone who pushed hard for this to become a reality.

"This isn’t the end of the process, we still need to make the business case to Government and our partners, but this will mean we have the money to deliver if we get the go-ahead.”

Ward councillors for Golborne and Lowton West were also thrilled by the news.

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In a statement councillors Gena Merrett, Yvonne Klieve and Susan Gambles said: "We wish to thank the Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, Transport for Greater Manchester and Wigan Council officers for all their hard work in helping to bring about this fantastic result.

"When the station is open passengers will be able to take a train on to Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport in one direction and to Wigan in the other.

"It is hoped that this will result in fewer car journeys, reducing some traffic congestion and air pollution."

The campaign in the local area to re-open Golborne Station has been a long one, with councillors and MPs past and present backing the reopening.

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Public meetings have been held for residents to air their views and elected representatives have had discussions with Mr Burnham.

The Golborne station was shut in 1961 as part of the infamous Beeching rail closures, leaving residents with a three-kilometre journey to the nearest station at Newton-le-Willows

It became clear the reopening was on track last year when a very positive report on the idea was published.

Leigh MP James Grundy also applied for Government funding and spoke to transport minister Grant Shapps about the importance of a local rail connection.

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Mr Burnham said: "I am determined to speed up the delivery on a world-class, integrated public transport system in Greater Manchester.

"This should not just be seen as building better infrastructure; this is about providing our residents with wider opportunities, access to jobs, skill and education, reducing social isolation and building stronger and better-connected communities where people want to live and are able to thrive.”

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