Objection to Southport rail line proposals
Email to Alex Hynes, Managing Director of Arriva Rail North, regarding proposals to end through services from the Southport Line to some Manchester stations and Manchester Airport.
Sent April 3, 2016
Dear Mr Hynes
I represent Standish Voice, the Neighbourhood Forum for Standish, in Wigan, and our organisation wishes to strongly oppose any proposals to end direct trains from Gathurst and Appley Bridge stations to Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport.
Many people from Standish use these stations daily as a direct route to Deansgate, Oxford Road and Piccadilly to access their workplaces. To end these through services will lead to huge inconvenience and increase the time it takes to commute. We believe this will lead to more people travelling to work in Manchester by car, thus increasing congestion and air pollution.
Many leisure travellers, for shopping, entertainment and those accessing to the airport, will also have to change trains, which will make travelling from our local stations increasingly unattractive.
Standish is a growing community. Our village is set to expand by a third in the next 10 years with the building of at least 1,550 new homes. Gathurst and Appley Bridge are the closest stations to Standish on the rail network and will most likely see a rapid increase in passenger numbers.
As part of the 106 Agreement deals signed with the housing developers, money has been allocated to expand the car parking facilities at these local stations and to provide increased bus services to these stations from Standish.
This investment will be largely wasted if the train services on the Southport Line are diminished.
Standish Voice is producing a Neighbourhood Plan for our village with sustainable transport at the heart of it, due to increasing levels of traffic congestion in our community. Better public transport is one of the ways we hope to reduce this problem and train travel is an important component of that.
As one of the fastest growing communities in Greater Manchester, we would hope that we would be a beneficiary of the Transport for the North proposals to enhance rail links, not a victim of reduced services.
Would you please tell us what stage these proposals have reached and what public consultation will be allowed before a decision is made?
Vice chair, Standish Voice