West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper challenged the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to keep his pre-election promises to the people of West Lancashire, and challenged his disregard for transport links in West Lancashire.
Before the General Election earlier this year, Mr Grayling visited West Lancashire and declared that reinstatement of the Burscough Curves would be a “quick win”.
Following the announcement last week that rail lines closed or ripped up under the infamous Beeching Report in the 1960s would be reopened to improve the country’s transport links, MP Rosie took the opportunity to seek the reassurance from the Secretary of his commitment to transport in West Lancashire.
MP Rosie asked in Parliament, “when will we get this quick win?” on the Burscough Curves, about funding for the electrification of rail in the area and funding for Skelmersdale railway station.
Mr Grayling showed incredible ignorance in his response stating that the people of West Lancashire will be getting the benefit of the investment programme in the line from Manchester to Blackpool.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“I was pleased when the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling visited West Lancashire in April this year and declared that reinstatement of the Burscough Curves would be a ‘quick win’ for the area.
“Eight months on and following more promising news about investment in rail travel, I took the opportunity to seek Mr Grayling’s reassurance on his promise.
“Unfortunately, he showed a complete disregard to residents of West Lancashire, by stating that residents here will benefit from the Manchester to Blackpool line!
“I will be writing to the Department for Transport to ask again, when will the funding come to our area as promised by the Transport Secretary, who seems to have forgotten both exactly where we are and the promises he made on his visit in April.
“I will continue to campaign and push for the Burscough Curves to be reopened and am working with all the relevant bodies to make progress.
“I have consistently said that a railway station in the heart of Skelmersdale will open up a world of economic and social opportunities for the town and its residents.
“Having launched the campaign for a Skelmersdale railway station with local residents by collecting signatures for petitions in the shopping centre which demonstrated huge support, and repeatedly speaking in Parliament on our desperate need for a railway station in Skelmersdale, the reopening of Burscough curves and electrification -; I had hoped that when the Transport Secretary made his promise that he had listened and realised what transformation a railway station would bring to Skelmersdale and that reopening the Burscough Curves would mean much easier and quicker journeys from Burscough, sadly it seems the only quick win he was interested in was the General Election seat in which the Conservatives failed miserably.
“West Lancashire residents want to see urgent action and promises kept by the Transport Secretary, and I shall keep reminding him of his words.”
Rosie Cooper Labour, West Lancashire
“My constituents will be listening with avid interest, because prior to the general election, the Transport Secretary visited my constituency and said that the reinstatement of the Burscough curves between Burscough, Preston and Ormskirk would be a “quick win” to help improve rail services in the north. When will we get this “quick win”? When will funding for that project, for electrification in the area and for the Skelmersdale railway station be forthcoming? My constituents look forward to him keeping his promise.”
Chris Grayling The Secretary of State for Transport
“Of course, the people of West Lancashire will be getting the benefit of the investment programme in the line from Manchester to Blackpool. It is a huge investment in improving the services on that route. That, right now, is our priority. After that, I hope we will move forward with other projects that can make a difference to passengers in Lancashire and elsewhere in the north-west”