A FORMER councillor is calling for Hag Fold station in Atherton to be converted into a park and ride to alleviate parking issues.

Norman Bradbury claims residents were told that following the introduction of the Guided Busway the demand for parking at Atherton Central station, which is a park and ride, would reduce.

However, he claims the busway, a 4.5-mile stretch which connects Leigh to Manchester, which was launched in April, has “not done anything to alleviate the problem of parking for commuters” at Atherton Railway Station and he believes the only way to solve the problem is to upgrade Hag Fold Station to a park and ride.

He said: “We were told there would be no requirement for additional parking at Atherton Railway Station, how wrong they were.

“The spare land to the rear of the station owned by Wigan Council could be developed as a car park, and the Manchester Southport services scheduled to stop at Hag Fold Station, this would only add one minute to the overall journey time.”

Mr Bradbury said the change would mean that Hag Fold Station would have two trains an hour which would help parking issues and accessibility for commuters.

He added: “The residents of Hag Fold estate commute to Manchester and Wigan to take up job opportunities which they have found difficult due to the poor rail service.

“The rebranded Dorset Road Community Centre 'The Bridge' would also benefit from this change, making it an attractive venue for people from all over the borough and wider afield to use for their events."