HS2 'will not benefit Leigh', says MP Andy Burnham

The Bolton News: Andy Burnham Andy Burnham

THE HS2 rail link will not benefit Leigh despite the town having the “poorest access to rail transport in the country”, says local MP Andy Burnham.

The Shadow Health Secretary claims the multi-billion project will destroy Leigh’s best beauty spots and has told the government it must “go back to the drawing board”.

Mr Burnham has responded to the HS2 Phase 2 Consultation, which has now closed after discussions with residents.

The government is expected to announce how HS2 will proceed by the end of 2014.

Mr Burnham argues that reinstating Leigh’s rail links to Liverpool and Manchester — which were removed in the 1960s — would be of more use to people in the town under the proposal for an HS2 Leigh Interchange.

He also questioned whether a site of environmental heritage — such as the proposed location of the HS2 depot in Leigh’s “Green Heart” — would have been chosen for such a facility in the south of England.

Mr Burnham said: “The natural landscape of the Leigh and Wigan area is slowly recovering after centuries of coal mining and heavy industrialisation.

“What green areas we have are therefore precious to us and need to be respected.

“Locally, there is a strong feeling that a similar decision would not have been taken to site a depot in an area of environmental and heritage importance in the South.”

On the interchange, he added: “It is not fair to Leigh constituents who pay for the rail network through their taxes, but have limited access to it.

“The Leigh Interchange proposal will spread the economic and regeneration potential away from Manchester and towards communities along the Liverpool to Manchester corridor.

“With a connecting link to the Liverpool-Manchester railway line, it will give people in living Merseyside much easier access to HS2 and cut journey times from Merseyside to London.”

Comments (4)

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9:52am Fri 7 Feb 14

William2701 says...

I'm guessing that Mr Burnham knows what Atherleigh Way and other roads in the area used to be?
I'm guessing that Mr Burnham knows what Atherleigh Way and other roads in the area used to be? William2701
  • Score: 4

12:30pm Fri 7 Feb 14

The Righteous One says...

OK , re-instate teh Liverpool too Manchester route but what will operate long teh route as there are no spare disel units in the UK and out of 2,500 new electric train units only 40 are heading up north to cover the whole of the north (whilst teh rest are for London routes!)

Remember that the new link to Burnley is currently open but no trains operate long it due to lack of rolling stock!!!
OK , re-instate teh Liverpool too Manchester route but what will operate long teh route as there are no spare disel units in the UK and out of 2,500 new electric train units only 40 are heading up north to cover the whole of the north (whilst teh rest are for London routes!) Remember that the new link to Burnley is currently open but no trains operate long it due to lack of rolling stock!!! The Righteous One
  • Score: 1

12:40am Sat 8 Feb 14

Reality50 says...

The way Burnham rattles on you would think Leigh is miles from the rail network. There are stations at Atherton-2 miles away-,Newton Le Willows-4 miles away-and Daisy Hill -3miles away-. We all want new rail lines and i wish Bolton had direct lines to Liverpool and Bury/Rochdale for eg but we haven't and probably never will. Labour did nothing between 1997 and 2010 to improve the rail network for customers and while i oppose HS2,the fact is it will happen and there's nothing we can do about it.
The way Burnham rattles on you would think Leigh is miles from the rail network. There are stations at Atherton-2 miles away-,Newton Le Willows-4 miles away-and Daisy Hill -3miles away-. We all want new rail lines and i wish Bolton had direct lines to Liverpool and Bury/Rochdale for eg but we haven't and probably never will. Labour did nothing between 1997 and 2010 to improve the rail network for customers and while i oppose HS2,the fact is it will happen and there's nothing we can do about it. Reality50
  • Score: 3

10:08pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Julian Denham says...

Folks,
Two things:-
1. The suggestion that this sort of issue wouldn't have been chosen for the South of England. This railway will affect thousands of people along the route in all areas, the people in charge are indiscriminate in respect of who or what they choose to destroy. I live in Buckinghamshire between two planned sections of tunnels where a viaduct and tunnel portals will (would) cause huge destruction, should the Heathrow link happen we will be pinned on all sides by the railway and ,again, it would be useless to us with no station between London and Birmingham. This is not, and please don't let it be a North/South thing . The concept is hugely flawed and would affect many parts of the Country, all of us adversely.
2. It's not built yet, they are not due to move a shovel for many months. It is not a fait- acomplis. The fat cats who want to profit or raise their profile will have us think so but it wouldn't take many more of those in power to be brave enough to put their heads above the parapet to tip the balance. I strongly believe this nonsense can still be stopped.
Folks, Two things:- 1. The suggestion that this sort of issue wouldn't have been chosen for the South of England. This railway will affect thousands of people along the route in all areas, the people in charge are indiscriminate in respect of who or what they choose to destroy. I live in Buckinghamshire between two planned sections of tunnels where a viaduct and tunnel portals will (would) cause huge destruction, should the Heathrow link happen we will be pinned on all sides by the railway and ,again, it would be useless to us with no station between London and Birmingham. This is not, and please don't let it be a North/South thing . The concept is hugely flawed and would affect many parts of the Country, all of us adversely. 2. It's not built yet, they are not due to move a shovel for many months. It is not a fait- acomplis. The fat cats who want to profit or raise their profile will have us think so but it wouldn't take many more of those in power to be brave enough to put their heads above the parapet to tip the balance. I strongly believe this nonsense can still be stopped. Julian Denham
  • Score: 2

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