Home News Large turnout as Andy Burnham says: Golborne station WILL happen
Aerial view of how the new station at Golborne might look

Large turnout as Andy Burnham says: Golborne station WILL happen

Here's what we learnt at a meeting to launch a public consultation on the plans.

by Editor

There was a large turnout as the next phase of plans for a new railway station in Golborne were set out at a meeting held at Golborne Parkside on Thursday, 4 January.

The room was almost full of people interested to hear more about the plans, which would see a railway station in Golborne for the first time in more than 60 years.

The meeting was led by Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, and included a first look at some artist impressions and a ‘fly through’ video of how the station might look. It was a cross-party event, with Leigh MP James Grundy also addressing the meeting in support of the plan, as did councillors from both Golborne and Lowton West and Lowton East. Representatives from Wigan Council and Transport for Greater Manchester also spoke and answered questions.

In over an hour of Q&A, issues including car parking, local bus services and road infrastructure were discussed, with Mr Burnham promising to develop a whole new bus plan for Lowton and Golborne, with the proposed station at its heart.

A public consultation is now open until Thursday, 15 February 2024.

Here’s the main things we learnt from the meeting:

Trains would initially be hourly, travelling between Wigan and Manchester.

Mr Burnham said this was the “minimum viable” number of trains needed to make the station worthwhile, but added that he was hopeful that, once capacity issues further up the line in central Manchester were addressed, there was scope for additional routes to be added (Manchester Airport or Warrington were mentioned as being theoretically possible).

In terms of train times, it is expected that the first train from the station on weekdays would departy around 6am, then run hourly until around 11pm (with reduced hours at weekends).

Golborne Station could be open in 2027

Although artists impressions have been produced, there is no finished or agreed design for the station yet. That will only happen next year, following the completion of the public consultation and once initial planning approval is secured.

In the shorter term, Andy Burnham and MP James Grundy will be meeting with the Rail Minister on 23 January, and an initial planning application is expected to be submitted in June this year. Once designs are agreed and final planning secured, constuction could take place in 2026 with the first passengers boarding a train from Golborne in 2027.

The station will be fully accessible

The plans include a bridge with lift access to the platforms. The car park will be fully resurfaced, there will be a taxi drop-off point, disabled parking and bike parking. Pedestrian crossings will be created on Tanners Lane and High Street to help pedestrians safely access the station.

Possible entrance to the new station, down the side of the existing Goods Shed

This could be the entrance to the new station, down the side of the old Goods Shed, which is all that remains of the old station.

But parking is going to be a problem…

The current plan doesn’t include additional car parking being added, just improvements being made to the current car park. Andy Burnham explained that the hope is that the station will not be used as a ‘park and ride’ by people living outside the immediate local area, and therefore that it wouldn’t require a car park on the scale of Newton-le-Willows station, for example. However many people at the meeting pointed out that the current car park is often full during the day even without the station, and suggestions included adding an extra level to the car park to increase capacity, or seeking alternative locations nearby (and anyone with ideas is asked to put them forward in the consultation).

Some residents living nearby expressed concerns about the possible impact of on-street parking by commuters, and requested that residents’ parking schemes be considered.

It was also confirmed that parking at the station would be free, in line with all the other Transport for Greater Manchester stations in the region.

As the meeting drew to an end, Andy Burnham said the feedback he had heard demonstrated that it was clear that the station still needed a “credible parking plan that really works”.

… And local bus routes need improving

Many people at the public meeting raising concerns about a lack of comprehensive or reliable bus services that might help people living further than walking distance from the station access it. For example, people living in Lowton, or at the other side of the station in Golborne, said that current bus services would leave them with little choice but to use their cars to access the station.

Mr Burnham – who recently launched his flagship Bee Network for Greater Manchester – under which all bus services have been brough back under public control – said the comments at the meeting had made it clear that he needed to “go away and come back with a new bus plan for Lowton and Golborne”, so that local people would really feel the benefit of the improved public transport connectivity and be persuaded to use their cars less frequently. He urged people to use the consultation to provide details of the difficulties they currently experience when trying to get around the towns.

Artists impression of the platform at Golborne Station

Artists impression of how the platform at Golborne Station might look

There are still some issues to be resolved

Both Any Burnham, MP James Grundy and other local councillors present were all keen to stress that whilst they all firmly believe this station will happen, no final decisions have been taken about how it will happen. They appealed for people to use this consultation to have their say – not only to raise concerns but also to suggest solutions and ideas which will all be given due consideration.

There were a number of unhappy residents of Tewksbury Road in Golborne at the meeting. They said they had recieved letters advising them that a portion of their back gardens may be required to allow the platform to be built. They complained of a lack of consultation and that this would have a detrimental impact on their security, privacy and the existing wildlife – Mr Burnham promised that their concerns would be discussed with them in detail to work out if there was an alternative, or mitigations that would address their issues.

But there was also lots of optimism that the increase in footfall to the town centre would help to spark a “renaissance” of Golborne Town Centre, following in the footsteps of Newton-le-Willows High Street, which is now thriving, in part because of great transport access.

And Mr Burnham told the meeting: “This station is going to happen. And we are going to take full account of what people say as we decide how it’s going to happen. We need to do it in a way that is right for everybody.”

Now is the time to have your say

What do you think? And what suggestions do you have that can help make sure that everyone feels the benefits of the new station?

If you have suggestions as to how issues like car parking and public transport could be addressed, it is clear that your views are needed.

All the plans and consultation documents are available on the Transport for Greater Manchester website, along with information about how to give your feedback.

We’d also love to hear your overall impressions in the comments below – or email us, news@lowtonandgolbornenews.co.uk.

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