COUNTY councillors have criticised the recently announced Integrated Rail Plan unveiled by the Government – commenting it makes no mention of the proposed rail station in Skelmersdale.
The plan outlines the next stage in the development of the transport system for the North but Labour County Councillors Azhar Ali and Julie Gibson, say it falls short of what was initially promised.
Cllr Gibson said: “This plan promised us that Lancashire would have a 21st century transport system, a truly integrated system that would link the towns and cities across the county with the rest of the North.
“What we have is a watered down version that promised so much but has just delivered disappointment.”
She continued: “I was particularly disappointed that no mention was made of the proposed rail station in Skelmersdale.
“Skelmersdale is benefiting from massive regeneration, the town centre is being transformed and the whole town is flourishing.
“The economic benefits of the train station cannot be overstated yet it did not merit a mention at any point during the document.
“The jobs and the regeneration opportunities that this plan could have delivered have also been lost as the Government continues to treat Lancashire and the North as a poor relation.”
Cllr Ali added: “This plan promised so much but delivers nothing for the people of Lancashire. It is another example of broken promises that do nothing to fix our broken transport infrastructure.
“The Prime Minister gone back on his promise to ‘level up’ Lancashire’s towns and communities.
“There was no mention of the Poulton-Fleetwood line, Skipton-Colne, much promised electrification of routes has not materialised and despite what local Tories try to claim, plans for HS2 to connect the North and the South have been scaled back or scrapped altogether.”
He continued: “What we are seeing here is not a ‘levelling up’ but a bulldozing of the north. The Tories will look after their friends in the south but once again Lancashire and its neighbours lose out.
“We asked for the Premier League and what we got was the Championship.”