West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has extended an invitation to new Rail Minister Wendy Morton MP to visit Skelmersdale ahead of the Department for Transport’s decision on the Skelmersdale Railway proposal.
The ‘Strategic Outline Business Case’ containing the detailed proposals for the reintroduction of a train station in Skelmersdale was submitted by Lancashire County Council to the Government in September 2021. The Department for Transport are yet to respond to the proposal but have been in correspondence with MP Rosie about the process they are following.
To support the proposal, Rosie has written to the Rail Minister with an open invitation to visit Skelmersdale with her, to see first hand how much of a difference connecting the town to the rail network would be.
The Government have previously expressed support for this campaign. During the 2019 General Election, the Northern Powerhouse Minister said that the Prime Minister had committed to reopen the Skelmersdale railway line, and the Conservative campaign website even named Skelmersdale as one of the key sites for rail improvements.
Rosie Cooper MP said:
“This proposal has been years in the making, and hundreds if not thousands of hours have gone into researching and developing this plan and campaigning for the Government to consider it.
“Anyone that lives in or has even visited Skelmersdale can tell you how revolutionary it would be to the town, both socially and economically. It is one of the largest towns in the country without its own train station, but also has very poor bus links and one of the lowest car ownership rates. It is unbelievable that it has gone this long without a station.
“The Government have been clear in the past that they are supportive of reopening the Skelmersdale railway. In fact, they were very vocal about it during the 2019 election! I will continue to hold them to this commitment while the proposal is being considered.
“The new Rail Minister has only been in her role for a few months, so may not be aware of the proposal yet. I hope she accepts my invitation to walk around Skelmersdale with me to see first-hand what a huge boost this would be.”