West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has received updates from the key partners involved in developing the case for Skelmersdale Rail link.
MP Rosie wrote to the Executives at Lancashire County Council, West Lancashire Borough Council, Northern, Merseytravel and Network Rail to check on the progress of the GRIP studies, which is the management and control process developed by Network Rail for delivering projects.
LCC have confirmed that the current Grip 3 feasibility study is due for completion by December, and has agreed to fund and develop a Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) which will build the economic case for the scheme.
Key consideration for the study is the work on local highway design and how the rail line integrates with the highway network in key locations.
Meanwhile, Merseytravel has confirmed that the Liverpool City Region are looking at extending the lines to Headbolt Lane in Kirby, which they state ‘could be considered the first stage in providing a Merseyrail extension into Skelmersdale’.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is pleased that studies are ongoing, and has recently written to government calling for their continued support for the scheme. She said:
“Residents have waited decades for adequate transport links and I have been campaigning for a train station for Skelmersdale since being elected here in 2005, so I am pleased that the GRIP studies are progressing and the council are developing the business case to secure the money for the project.
“However, the project will only proceed to the final development stages if supported and funding is made available by the Secretary of State for Transport.
“I will continue to lobby the Department for Transport and this new Secretary of State, just like the last, to ensure they prioritise Skelmersdale Railway as a significant infrastructure project deserving of DfT investment.
“Having launched the campaign for a railway station with local residents when we were standing collecting signatures on petitions in the shopping centre to demonstrate the support for this scheme, to speaking in Parliament on the subject and taking every opportunity to press the case about the transformation a railway station would bring to Skelmersdale. We have come a long way in our aim of securing a railway station in the town.
“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.”