Lancashire County Council has announced that they have submitted a Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) for a new railway line and station in Skelmersdale to the Government.
The new transport link would mean that Skelmersdale would be connected to the centres of Liverpool, Manchester and Preston, which Lancashire County Council says will open up job, education and leisure opportunities.
The new rail link would connect Skelmersdale to the current Liverpool Central – Kirkby – Wigan Wallgate line, with costs ranging from £210m to £700m.
LCC says that journey times would be 35 minutes to Liverpool Central and 18 minutes to Wigan Wallgate.
The line was closed in November 1956 and hasn’t seen a train in Skelmersdale since. The SOBC will be looked at by the Department for Transport who will decide whether to take the project forward.
Network Rail, West Lancashire Borough Council and Merseytravel have worked with Lancashire County Council to submit the Strategic Outline Business Case.
County Councillor Charlie Edwards, Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “This is an important stage of the highly-detailed and lengthy process which we need to go through to bring these major rail improvements for people in the town.
“Improving the public transport network will help to encourage regeneration in the area and make the town a more appealing place to live, work, visit and invest.
“By providing a high-quality sustainable public transport service, it reduces the need for some car journeys, which reduces emissions and traffic levels.
“Skelmersdale is a unique part of Lancashire due to its radical design as a New Town in the 1960’s. Unfortunately as the town grew, the rail link was never reinstated.
“In recent years, the county council has been working to increase transport options, which will open up new opportunities for people who live and work in the town.
“We are hoping that the people of Skelmersdale will fully support this plan and we will be pushing the case for this and other rail investment across Lancashire in our conversations with Government.”
The latest railway news
Railway Discounts, 4k Video, pictures and more!
Signup to our daily and weekly newsletters
Railway Prints, DVD’s / Blu-Ray’s, books and more
Come and share your railway pictures
UK STEAM INFO
Upcoming mainline steam tours/loco movements