Wigan council leader 'extremely disappointed' as HS2 Golborne link is scrapped
Wigan’s council leader fears plans to scrap the £3bn HS2 link to Wigan will have a “significant” impact.
Coun David Molyneux said he was “extremely disappointed” by the decision and called on the Government to “honour its Levelling Up commitments”.
It was reported yesterday that the Golborne link of the high-speed railway was being axed, with transport minister Andrew Stephenson saying alternatives would be considered.
The news was welcomed by Leigh MP James Grundy and residents in the area, who had long campaigned against the proposal.
But Labour politicians have expressed their dismay at the removal of the Golborne link from the scheme.
Coun Molyneux said: “We are extremely disappointed to have received confirmation that the Golborne link will be removed from the HS2 bill. Our stance and support of HS2 and the opportunities it would bring to our borough, positioning Wigan as a significant transport hub for the region and securing much wider benefits for our local economy, has been consistent from day one.
“This decision to move away from the original plans will have a significant impact on our communities and on the wider region, undermining the Levelling Up commitments made by Government. We are told that alternatives are being considered that will deliver similar benefits to the Golborne link. We will urgently be seeking further details to ensure there are positive outcomes for Wigan borough and Greater Manchester.
“As we have stated previously, we are making significant efforts to invest in our local economy but we cannot do this alone. We urge Government to honour its Levelling Up commitments to make sure that half of the country is not left behind.”
Wigan Central councillor Lawrence Hunt thinks this is another broken promise from the Government, which said it wanted to invest in the North.
“This will be a disaster for the borough in terms of the economy,” Coun Hunt said. “It is just another broken promise from the Government.
“This will impact on the jobs that would come through building the railway and just as importantly the apprenticeships that were promised through this as well. That is all not going to happen now.
“We were relying on this to boost our economy. They [the Government] promise the Earth and deliver nothing, it is an act of vandalism.”