Groups of residents who are opposing High Speed 2 being constructed through Lowton and Golborne believe they are getting all the problems but none of the benefits.

The HS2 development is scheduled to commence in 2025 for preparation works and construction of the railway starting in 2027.

The Golborne Spur of the proposed HS2 railway travels through Lowton St Mary’s, crosses Slag Lane on a viaduct and cuts straight through Byrom Hall Wood to meet the West Coast Main Line at Bamfurlong.

The Lowton West Residents group and the Lowton East Neighbourhood Development Forum have spoken out about the plans.

Linda Graham, chair of Lowton West Residents, said: “For the Lowton/Golborne area this will cause years of utter chaos, noise, pollution, dust, and traffic gridlock for a railway we can’t use. Once completed, our area will be devastated and unrecognisable. 

“Three high speed trains will travel along the Spur each hour – all destined for Scotland. Two from London Euston will not stop until Preston, not Wigan.

Leigh Journal: Picture shows Irene Thomson of Lowton Hedgehog Rescue and chair of LENDF with a hedgehog. Picture: Irene Thomson. Free to all LDRS partners Irene Thomson of Lowton Hedgehog Rescue and chair of LENDF with a hedgehog.

“Only one train from Birmingham to Edinburgh will stop in Wigan.

“This is a massive consideration given it is something we cannot even use.

“The businesses at the Lowton St Mary’s side of the development will probably have to relocate as well.

“I fear local people will move out of the area.”

Both the LWR and LENDF are concerned about the loss of green space and leisure facilities that this will bring as well as the loss of wildlife habitats.

Irene Thomson from Lowton Hedgehog Rescue and chair of LENDF, said: “The animals that are rescued by me from the area will not be going back there if this starts.

“I will have to change my way of working, and this is a species that is endangered in this country.

“The main issue is the congestion during construction.

“The housing built in this area is already more than we anticipated and that has increased the level of traffic which is already congested.”

She went on to explain that services such as GP practices and dentist surgeries are already at capacity due to an overload of residents.

Where this construction will take place will add to the traffic at the problem junction at Lane Head, which Ms Thomson believes will cause rat runs through residential areas.

A spokeswoman for HS2 Ltd said: “Extending HS2 to Manchester will support 17,500 jobs and offer many opportunities for local businesses to secure work on the project. 

“HS2 will also help the UK to tackle climate change and reach net zero by 2050, and the Phase 2b extension is setting a new benchmark for cleaner, greener travel by becoming the first major infrastructure project to set out an ambition to deliver a net gain in biodiversity once the route is complete.

“We take the environmental and local impacts of construction very seriously, and have set out noise and traffic mitigation proposals to reduce disruption for local residents wherever possible."

The team at HS2 have also expected that more funds will be made available during the next phase of the project that could potentially be used to support investment in assets the community deem important.