THE council is backing proposals to reopen a railway station that has been closed for 58 years.

Leigh MP Jo Platt launched a petition to bring Golborne railway station back into use for the first time since it shut in 1961.

Leigh Journal:

Leigh MP Jo Platt

Thousands have signed the petition, which would reintroduce a station into the Leigh constituency since Leigh railway station closed in 1969.

The Labour representative says reopening Golborne's former station on Railway Road would be the “quickest and most straight forward first step” to increasing rail connectively in the area.

Leigh Journal:

Leader of Wigan Council, Cllr David Molyneux

Wigan Council leader, Cllr David Molyneux, said: “Quality transport links and easy connectivity are both key to ensuring the economic growth of our borough and helping people access more job opportunities.

“Although Leigh already has a thriving guided busway, which has significantly improved connectivity between Leigh and Manchester, we support the suggestion of a new train station in Golborne to encourage further footfall to our borough.

“We are still awaiting the findings of Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) study, which will give a clearer view on whether this would be feasible or not.”

Ms Platt also wants to link the guided busway to the proposed station to create a connection for Leigh.

She is asking Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham to work with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, TfGM and Transport for the North (TfN) on the plans.

READ > Residents asked to have their say on plans to tackle anti-social behaviour in town centre

A TfGM spokesman said: “We are in the process of producing a brief for a feasibility study to look at the transport options in the Leigh/Golborne area, which will consider key areas such as demand, growth and economic viability.

“Consultants should be appointed in the autumn to lead this work, including discussions with local stakeholders, and will develop the options to Strategic Outline Business Case level to support future funding applications.”

A Department for Transport spokesman added: “Our railways are vital links between communities across the country, providing cleaner, greener journeys which drive economic growth and bring people closer to friends and families.

“We will continue to support the work that TfGM is doing with stakeholders across industry, which will ultimately determine whether it’s economically viable to build a new station in Golborne.”

For more information on Jo Platt's petition click here.