I attended an Ormskirk, Preston & Southport Travellers Association (OPSTA) meeting in Ormskirk Civic Hall last night where the guest speaker was Cllr. John Fillis a Labour member of Lancashire County Council and its Cabinet member for Transportation.
It was a good meeting and John was not your usual politician turning up to say all the right platitudes; in many ways he was blunt but refreshingly straight forward.
He seemed quite optimistic about the Merseyrail Northern Line, that presently ends in Ormskirk, being extending firstly to Burscough and then on to Preston within the next 15 to 20 years. I Hope his optimism is well placed as this should be a no brainer of an objective.
He also said he was hopeful of getting a railway back into Skelmersdale after generations of there not being one since the New Town was built. But he said this would be on the back of rail freight into the Town associated with the expansion of Liverpool Docks.
An upgrade in just about every way of the Southport to Wigan line also had his support.
I congratulated him on his contribution because to be honest I have always found Lancashire County Council and indeed West Lancs Disrict Council rather disinterested in seriously improving the Southport – Wigan and Ormskirk – Preston Lines as they have always had bigger fish to fry elsewhere.
We shall see what becomes of all this but a positive approach from Cllr. Fillis was good to hear indeed and it builds on the work of John Pugh the MP for Southport.