Lancashire County Council has put forward a number of projects which could be delivered quickly as part of a new call from Transport for the North for the government to fund schemes which could help the economy following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The regional transport body has set out its initial plans for a Northern Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), a 30-year investment plan of infrastructure projects to underpin greener northern growth. Its new Economic Recovery Plan highlights particular projects which could be started over the next 6-18 months to help create around 20,000 construction and design jobs across the north, and transform transport infrastructure.
Transport for the North has also highlighted further projects where work could start in 2 to 4 years if funding is made available to take them forward.
The only project of interest to West Lancashire is “Ensure funding is in place for detailed design work needed to progress proposals for a rail link to Skelmersdale and new town centre station beyond its current phase of development, and speed its delivery”.
It was in March that Rosie Cooper received further assurances from the Department for Transport over the commitment to delivering Skelmersdale Railway. Following the General Election, during which the Prime Minister promised the funding, MP Rosie wrote directly to Boris Johnson asking for further detail on his announcement and how the Skelmersdale project can access the money it needs to come to fruition. She said “A railway station in the heart of Skelmersdale will open up a world of economic and social opportunities for the town and its residents”.
Believe it when you see it! West Lancashire probably won’t be in the “Lancashire” county but will instead be in a mutually beneficial arrangement with other smaller boroughs if the news we hear about comes to pass!