THERE has not been an active railway station in the Leigh constituency for more than 50 years.

But a campaign to reopen Golborne railway station, which closed in 1961, is gathering momentum after residents showed their support in a public meeting last night, Tuesday.

Greater Manchester major Andy Burnham, who served as Leigh’s MP for 16 years, spoke to around 100 people at Golborne Sports and Social Club to give his backing.

Mr Burnham, who recalled how he fought for a station in Parliament, said: “It is unfinished business from my point of view.

“I am in this job to reconnect this area to the railway network.”

The metro mayor called for cross-party support to create a “big positive campaign”.

He also acknowledged that Leigh’s Conservative MP James Grundy, who was in attendance, supports the plans.

READ > Plans for free weekend town centre parking put forward after public backing

Around 10 years ago enquiries were made about reopening Golborne’s station and Mr Burnham remembers it would have cost around £5m.

He said if the cost was similar again it would not be a “showstopper” and outlined the Railway Road structure is still in place and that trains on the western coast mainline, which runs from London to Scotland, pass through.

Kenyon Junction, which also shut in 1961, is another former station Mr Burnham and Mr Grundy would like reopening.

If that happened, passengers may be able to travel there from the guided busway if the Atherleigh Way bypass was extended south.

Head of rail programme at Transport for Greater Manchester Simon Elliott said locations to open stations are being looked at via business cases and a report is set to be published this summer.

Residents aired their views passionately and expressed frustrations about traffic which has worsened after the increase in housing development and the need for regeneration in Golborne, which could be helped by a station.

The meeting ended in a show of unity when one man asked fellow residents to stand up in support when the panel asked them if they were in favour of the campaign.

Golborne councillors Gena Merrett, Susan Gambles and Yvonne Klieve also gave their backing at the meeting.