Plan to restore key Southport to Manchester train route through Wigan backed by MP

Plans by a train company to bring back the axed Southport to Manchester Piccadilly service running through the borough have been backed by Wigan's MP.

Friday, 26th April 2019, 5:03 pm
Updated Friday, 26th April 2019, 6:14 pm
A Northern train

Northern has confirmed it is prioritising the restoration of the cancelled service, a decision which was deeply unpopular with commuters and other travellers left with the options of trains to Manchester Victoria or changing.

Transport for the North told Wigan's parliamentary representative Lisa Nandy in a letter a bid for an hourly service from Southport to Piccadilly via Wigan Wallgate has been submitted for the December timetables.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Full details, including news of trains on Sundays, should be released in June.

Transport for the North has confirmed it will closely monitor the delivery and implementation of the proposals to ensure passengers' needs are met.

Ms Nandy said the service restoration would be welcome, speaking of the massive problems the decision to axe the route in the teeth of passenger opposition had caused in Wigan.

She said: "After the crisis that has engulfed Northern’s rail service over the last two years, the news that they are bidding to restore the Southport– Wigan-Manchester service is a promising sign that Northern have finally started to listen to their customers.

"Ever since Northern first announced their plans to axe the service in 2016, I have worked closely with passenger groups to highlight the damage that would be done to the quality of people’s lives and the local economy, and to produce a compelling business plan to justify saving the service.

"Despite this, Northern ignored us and pushed ahead.

"I will continue to closely monitor the progress of the new timetable.

"Trust in Northern’s ability to deliver is in short supply, but they have an opportunity here to show that they are listening and are capable of recognising their mistakes and putting them right. I hope they take it.”