Wigan councillor says it’s a ‘scandal’ as proposals for station are dropped

Hindley train station parking
Hindley train station parking

Campaigners say that a controversial decision to abandon a long-awaited park and ride scheme for a Wigan railway station is a "scandal".

Proposals for extra parking at Hindley Station has been on the drawing board for nearly four years and supported by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

Residents living in surrounding streets have long-standing complaints over vehicles being left there throughout the day by commuters.

Network Rail’s latest solution was to allocate land which once housed the station’s goods yards for a park and ride project.

But the venture has been held up as the result of a dispute over access with a local householder, which now appears to have reached an impasse.

Jim Ellis, chairman of the Friends of Hindley Station, said: "This is an absolute scandal - we met with Network Rail around 12 months ago and suggested a solution.

"It’s absolutely ridiculous that we’re in this position now."

Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue said: "Hindley Station is well used but could deliver more passengers if it had an adequate park and ride facility.

"It is apparent that if we are to break the logjam then a fresh impetus must be given to find a solution that can increase capacity."

Coun Jim Talbot, who represents Hindley ward, added: "I am deeply saddened with the decision by TfGM to withdraw funding.

"Hindley is a very well-established and well-used station.

"The station itself, has received numerous awards, and accolades for several years making it a pleasurable station to go to or pass through. It needs an overflow car parking facility, as the current parking facilities are inadequate."

The MP, friends group and councillors have previously offered to meet again with Network Rail, in a bid to overcome the difficulties.

The decision to mothball the scheme was announced at a meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s capital projects and policy sub-committee on Friday.

In a report Alex Cropper, head of TfGM’s projects group, said: "Whilst Network Rail has been endeavouring to resolve this matter with the adjoining land owner for over three years, the situation continues to remain unresolved, with no apparent prospect of this situation changing over the short to medium term.

"TfGM cannot proceed until this is resolved.

"Given this situation, and following discussions with Wigan Council officers, it is therefore proposed that any further work on this initiative is ceased."

Transport bosses say the Hindley scheme could be reintroduced into their capital programme, subject to funding being available, if the dispute was eventually resolved.