The Labour Group on Lancashire County identified in the budget proposals feasibility studies to be carried out in support of, Midge Hall Railway Station, Back on Track (Fleetwood) and Coppull Railway Station. This was all part of developing Lancashire’s economic infrastructure while reducing environmental impact by investing in public transport.
The studies were to pull together existing information, planned developments and preparation to develop future rail links, as part of the Transport for the North (TfN). Lancashire County Council had begun this work but in recent years this process appears to of stalled. There was no indication of any movement of these rail projects in the “Transport for the North Investment Programme” (7th February 2019).
At last week’s Full Council Budget Meeting the Conservative Administration voted down these proposals and some Conservative Councillors claimed that work was on going with TfN. However these claims have not been reflected within the investment program or evidenced to support any progress on any of the projects.
Cllr Kim Snape, Labour South Ribble Spokesperson, is now calling for party politics to be dropped and progress should be made for the people of Lancashire.
Cllr Kim Snape, said “This is important for the people’s future, economically and environmentally, which all makes sense. Despite the fact that the Conservatives voted this down I got the feeling that everyone in the Chamber supported the development of Midge Hall Station, Back on Track in Fleetwood and Coppull Station. It’s who get the credit for it, which appears to be the problem.
“But if these rail projects don’t get built then no one gets any credit and it’s the local communities that lose out. These projects take years to develop and politicians will come and go but our communities we serve are here to stay.”
“At next week’s full council meeting I will be asking the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport to work with us to develop the Midge Hall Train Station to begin cross party work to enable Lancashire to become a council that delivers for the people we all serve. This will hopefully be the start of a cooperation that will build on our agreements and not divide us over the differences. Not only for Midge Hall but also Back on Track in Fleetwood and Coppull Railway Station.”
The question that will be put to the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Full Council, 21st February.
“Despite the fact that the Ormskirk to Preston train line has been identified as the worst service in the country for cancelled and late trains, which clearly demonstrates why we need to bring the train service under public control, would the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport work with us on a cross party basis to establish a new train station at Midge Hall in Leyland for the good of the local community.”