“It must be affordable and fit for the 21st Century”
County Cllr Julie Gibson has welcomed the decision of Lancashire County Council to push for a meeting with Government to make the case for a better deal for Lancashire as the Government rolls out its integrated rail plan. Speaking in the debate at the recent Full Council, Cllr Gibson warned of the dangers of the County losing out to neighbours in Merseyside and Manchester and called on the County to push for a meeting with Ministers to put the case for Lancashire.
Cllr Gibson said: “My colleague Cllr Ali and myself first raised this issue back in November when the Integrated Rail Plan was published. Since then, we have lobbied the Council to meet with Government to put forward our case and I’m pleased to say at the recent Full Council meeting, at the request of a motion put forward by myself and Cllr Ali, with a small amendment from the ruling Conservative group, we have agreed a way forward to Government to make our case.”
Cllr Gibson continued: “As well as the talk of joining up and integrating services, we must really push for a transport system that is affordable, especially as we are now facing some of the steepest hikes in rail fares. As of 1st March some ticket prices will go up by as much as 3.8%. I spoke in the debate of my own experience of getting my first job back in the 1990s and having to commute from Skelmersdale to Preston via either Wigan or Ormskirk. A similar journey today would still cost me in the region of £65.00 – £72.00 per week and that is without the proposed rise that will be coming in.”
Cllr Gibson said: “Families are already facing tax rises and surging bills, having to make difficult choices between “heating” or “eating” and now they will have extra money to find for a daily commute. Our transport system is outdated and expensive, it needs a complete overhaul for the 21st Century and I call on the Government to work with us to tackle the issues inherent within it and to ensure Lancashire gets its “fair share.”