Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle MP visited Skelmersdale on Friday 28 September 2012 as the next stage in Rosie Cooper MP’s fight to deliver a railway station in the town centre.
MP Rosie has been out in Skelmersdale over the past few weeks speaking to residents and giving them an opportunity to make their voices heard and for them to show their support for a railway station in the town centre.
Speaking after the visit MP Rosie said:
“I am grateful for Maria taking the time to visit Skelmersdale. She has been a fantastic advocate for improving public transport and recognising the social and economic benefits from connecting our communities.
“To deliver a railway station in the town centre is not going to happen overnight. There are many people and organisations involved in making it happen.
“My priorities in these early stages are to ensure the people of Skelmersdale have a chance to show their desire for a railway station, which they can do by signing the petition. I also want sure that the key organisations and people who could be involved in the decision-making process, locally, regionally and nationally, are aware of the scheme.
“I’ve spoken before about the benefits of this scheme for Skelmersdale and the whole of West Lancashire. So I will continue to campaign for, and fight as hard as I can to make this railway station in the town centre a reality.”
Maria Eagle, MP for Garston and Halewood and Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State said:
“It is a great shame that a town the size of Skelmersdale, with a population approaching 40,000 doesn’t have a railway station. It is an exciting time in Skelmersdale in terms of the regeneration that is taking place with the fantastic new college campus and the plans for the redevelopment of the town centre.
“Access to good quality transport services, including a rail service, will improve the town’s connections and will open up a world of opportunities for the town and its residents.
“I’ve known Rosie for many years now. I know she is a tough fighter and from my visit to West Lancashire today can see the hard work she is putting in to deliver real improvement on transport services. I will continue to work with Rosie and support her as she fights to get a railway station for Skelmersdale.”
As part of her campaign to secure a railway station in Skelmersdale Rosie has raised the issue in Parliamentary Debates, she has also launched a petition for residents to sign along with meetings including with the Chairman of Merseytravel, Cllr Liam Robinson.
Skelmersdale’s old station was closed to passengers in 1956 and completely shut down in 1963. Since then Skelmersdale’s population has exploded and the demand for a railway has never been greater. With the opening of the multi million pound West Lancashire College and the £20m plans for the regeneration of Skelmersdale’s Town Centre, MP Rosie has continually stressed the need for a railway station in Skelmersdale.