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Is a Skem train station feasible?

02.15.10 | Comment?

Regular readers will remember that the Conservative administration of West Lancashire Borough Council took incompetence to a new height in late 2008 when they simply forgot to make provision for a railway station in the masterplan for the Skelmersdale Town Centre.  I reported on it hereThis is how the press reported it.

Fortunately, Labour was around to dig them out of their hole, and there are hopeful signs now that Skelmersdale might get a new station within the next few years.   Another small step in the right direction is the emerging plan for a feasibility study into the line a new track into the town would take, and where and how the station might be located. 

The proposal for the feasibility study is not ‘signed off’ yet, but it does look as though money made be available from the final (fairly small) underspend on the £8million West Lancashire Investing in Business Fund, which the then Labour council brought to the area in 2000. 

I’ll also be looking to see if a feasibility study can cover the issue of how facilities/connections at the Upholland station might be enhanced to serve the needs of the people of Upholland/Eastern Skelmersdale better in the future.

All in all, it’s Labour that’s driving this forward, though no doubt the Tories will soon be trying to claim the credit. 

Meanwhile, no more has been heard about the Association of Train Operating Companies’ slightly off-the-wall plans for a rail link into Skelmersdale from Ormskirk, following the old line.  I think that’s probably a dead duck.

Any new station at Skelmersdale, with any line electrification and joining of the line at Kirkby that comes as part of the whole, will also bring with it a better chance of a new station at Headbolt Lane (on the Simonswood/Kirkby) border.

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