Wigan town’s plan for a new railway station gets one step closer

Plans to build a new railway station at Golborne could move a step closer with just over £340,000 set to be added to the funding pot.

This is part of £14m in cash set to be approved by Greater Manchester Combined Authority on Friday as it looks to improve the region’s transport routes.

Back in January 2021, £16m was approved by GMCA for the development and delivery of a new railway station at Golborne.

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This extra funding will go on top of the £700,000 already put on the table to establish the outline of the project, generate more proposals for funding, and how much it would cost to deliver and operate the development.

The A573 bridge over the railway line at Golborne
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The station, once constructed, could give the town, that sits between Leigh and Wigan, direct access to the rail network for the first time in more than 60 years.

The site in question was that of the old Golborne South station which was shut early in 1961. Contrary to previous reports this was not following the Beeching report, which led to the closure of many stations and lines. That only came out two years later, reader and former railwayman Ian McFee has pointed out.

Leigh’s Conservative MP James Grundy, who has been a big supporter of the railway station’s return, made a submission to his government as part of the national Restoring your Railway Fund: a £500m pot of cash meant for recommissioning old out-of-use stations.

Vernon Everitt, transport commissioner for Greater Manchester, said: “Momentum continues to build behind delivery of the Bee Network – the integrated, affordable and accessible public transport and active travel network for our city-region.

"These schemes will provide much-needed improvements such as dealing with pinch points on main bus routes experiencing delays or poor journey time reliability, improved passenger waiting facilities, raised kerbs for better access at bus stops and better real-time customer information.

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“This investment will also ensure signage is well-maintained and provide the latest road signalling technology to tackle delays.”

A walking and cycling network between Wigan and Standish has also been given £1.3m from the Mayor’s Challenge Fund. The first phase will see the Beech Hill area connected to Wigan town centre and Wigan and Leigh College via Mesnes Park.

Mr McFee informs Wigan Today that there used also to be a Golborne North station which was on the former Great Central line from St Helens Central to Lowton St Mary's. That closed to passengers in 1952 but the line was retained for several years for the use of goods trains and may possibly have been used for excursion trains to the halt at Haydock Park racecourse.

Golborne South was on the former London and North Western Railway (LNW) company's (still extant) route from Wigan North Western to Winwick Junction; it stood just north of Golborne Junction where the line splits, one route running towards Parkside Junction from where it runs west to Newton-Le-Willows, Earlestown, St Helens and Liverpool and East towards Manchester (historically known as the Chat Moss route).