West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has reacted to the announcement by Transport for the North (TfN) of their bid for increased transport funding for the North, with deep concern at the complete omission of West Lancashire from its plan.
TfN launched their Strategic Transport Plan this week yet among the 98 pages of ideas and aspirations, there is no mention of West Lancashire, Ormskirk, Burscough and only a passing mention of Skelmersdale.
Since 2012, MP Rosie has campaigned both locally and nationally for a railway in Skelmersdale, the second largest town in the North West without one. Throughout this period Rosie has raised the matter with numerous Transport Ministers and even orally with the then Prime Minister in 2014.
Lancashire County Council’s West Lancashire Highways and Transport Masterplan 2014 and Merseytravel’s Liverpool City Region Long Term Rail Strategy 2014 have discussed at length the economic and social advantages that a Skelmersdale railway would bring.
Rosie has also continuously campaigned for the reinstatement of the Burscough Curves and the bypass for Ormskirk and Burscough.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“I have campaigned tirelessly for improved transport links across West Lancashire for many years, including Skelmersdale railway station, the reinstatement of the Burscough Curves, an improved east-west rail service and a bypass for Ormskirk and Burscough.
“This plan from Transport for the North disappointingly does not address any of these transport projects and risks ploughing all the resources into the North’s city regions while leaving behind economic centres and residents outside of these areas.
“West Lancashire needs significant transport infrastructure investment and I will continue to campaign for this.
“I have written to the Chair and Chief Executive of Transport for the North and the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Northern Powerhouse to ask why West Lancashire has been omitted and confirmed that I do not welcome this plan while it appears to neglect critical transport issues for my constituents.
“We need action and funding, not another talking shop.”