Stations are included in Masterplan

Coppull Railway Station in 1969; 'PIC FROM LANCASHIRE IMAGE ARCHIVE -'COPYRIGHT: LANCASHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SERVICE

Coppull Railway Station in 1969; 'PIC FROM LANCASHIRE IMAGE ARCHIVE -'COPYRIGHT: LANCASHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SERVICE

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PLANS to re-open a village railway station are back on track.

Campaigners were bitterly disappointed when Coppull Station was not included in a new £275m transport masterplan for Central Lancashire.

But they are claiming people power has resulted in a rethink over the station – which closed in the 1960s.

And in addition, also now included in the masterplan is a consideration for improvements to the attractiveness and viability of Adlington station.

Chorley borough councillor Steve Holgate, who is part of the group fighting for the reopening of Coppull, said: “I’m absolutely delighted.

“I think the fact it is being included for consideration is a step forward.

“However, there’s still a long way to go before it is secured, and we have had many false dawns.

“We would like a cast-iron guarantee before we can step down from the campaign trail to ensuring Coppull gets its fair resource, which is a station like many other boroughs in Chorley.

“We recognise there’s a considerable amount of work to be done, because it is on the West Coast Main Line – but that’s no reason not to do it.”

As regards Adlington station, ward councillor and deputy leader of Chorley Borough Council, Peter Wilson, said: “I’m very happy as I think passengers in Adlington have had a raw deal over many years.

“It’s one of the worst stations in regard of services, information to passengers, parking and general facilities.

“So I’m pleased now there’s going to be some proposed action for the people who use the station regularly and hopefully more people will travel by rail in the future.”

The Central Lancashire Highways and Transport Masterplan – aimed at improving transport infrastructure in Preston, Chorley and South Ribble over the next 15 years – sets out options for major changes to highways, public transport and walking and cycling facilities to create conditions for economic growth and make sure predicted increases in traffic don’t cause gridlock on the roads.

A six-week consultation took place in January and February with a series of events held across the area to allow members of the public and local organisations such as parish councils to contribute.

Responses largely endorsed the county council’s preferred option to ‘improve and extend’ the transport network, and the final version published includes a number of changes.

They include the considerations for Coppull and Adlington stations.

The masterplan will also see new roads built, public transport prioritised along key corridors into Preston and between Leyland and Chorley, and public improvements in city, town and local centres.

County Coun Tim Ashton, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “There is huge potential for economic growth in the central Lancashire area and it is essential that people and goods can move around efficiently if we’re to make those jobs a reality.

“Businesses will only choose to invest in Lancashire if they know their employees, goods and customers can travel efficiently.”

Marcus Hudson, head of planning at the county council, said: “This masterplan is the county council’s ‘transport’ response to the Central Lancashire Core Strategy, a document setting out plans for future development adopted jointly by Chorley, Preston and South Ribble councils following a public examination last year in front of a government-appointed Planning Inspector.

“Without this scale of new highways and transport infrastructure, there’s a very real prospect that the area’s development strategy will not be delivered.

“Central Lancashire’s housing needs and economic ambitions will not be achieved.”