Support for new rail line

Shake on it...MP Andy Burnham welcomes Ged Tyrrell director of transport for Leigh to the meeting at Leigh Sports Village watched by ltr MP Dave Watts, Lord Peter Smith, and Trevor Barton MBE chief executive Leigh Centurions.
Shake on it...MP Andy Burnham welcomes Ged Tyrrell director of transport for Leigh to the meeting at Leigh Sports Village watched by ltr MP Dave Watts, Lord Peter Smith, and Trevor Barton MBE chief executive Leigh Centurions.
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A ST Helens MP has given his backing to an ambitious scheme to build a regional rail interchange.

St Helens North parliamentarian Dave Watts attended the launch meeting of a proposal to construct a rail hub just off the East Lancs Road where the proposed new High Speed Two (HS2) route will cross the existing Liverpool to Manchester line south of Lowton.

Mr Watts gave his full support to the proposal, saying it would benefit people in St Helens and across the region who would otherwise find it difficult to access HS2 trains, which will slash journey times from northern cities to London and Birmingham.

The £85m interchange plan, which has been put together by campaign group Transport for Leigh, will also feature the construction of a 250-space car park and a sliproad from the East Lancs Road, which will be made into a flyover at the interchange to accommodate the HS2 track.

Mr Watts said: “The North West doesn’t get its fair share of infrastructure investment, and if you look at how much money has been spent in the south over the last 30 or 40 years you can see we’ve been very unfairly treated.

“Both Leigh and St Helens are on the edges of our respective counties and often get left behind, so this gives us an opportunity to work together.

“The plan makes sense and is a massive opportunity for our local community. It’s clear to me we have to work collectively and get as much pressure on the Government as possible to see this scheme materialise. I think the station would be a great asset to St Helens.”

Speakers at the meeting said HS2 was vital to bringing investment and jobs.