A GUIDED busway will hamper any hopes of regeneration for the Leigh area says a councillor who favours a new rail link.

A furious Cllr Norman Bradbury is urging transport chiefs to think again and carry out a feasibility study for a heavy rail link between Leigh and Manchester, joining the present Atherton-Manchester line at Walkden.

He said: "The GMITE are about to spend £56 million of our money on a Guided Busway nobody wants, a fact which has been proved over and over again.

"The scheme will do nothing to entice commuters out of their cars with only a six minute improvement on the present bus journey times.

"The 'Mis-Guided Busway' will be a blow to any prospect of long term regeneration for the Leigh area. It will be decades before Leigh, Tyldesley and Mosley Common can be linked back into the heavy rail network as the busway uses part of the route which would be required by heavy rail."

"I would urge the new GMITA to think again.

"Heavy rail would not only cut journey times from Leigh to Manchester by half, it would significantly reduce the number of cars journeys, with the possibility of a station at Tyldesley and a park and ride facility at Mosley Common.

"What we need is a new vision for our area, and not just let politicians walk all over us as though our opinions don’t count."

Cllr Bradbury is urging those who share his view to email GMITA chairman Keith.Whitmore@gmita.gov.uk or write to him at GMITA, PO Box 532, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA.