Community Rail Partnerships – Lancs leads the way?

A recent read of railwatch magazine (July ’15 edition) really made me wonder how ‘Lancs leads the way’ could have been seen to be the right headline for an article Chris Austin.

Chris may well be right about what is going on in the east of Lancashire but over in the west of the County ‘leads the way’ is hardly what we in OPSTA (Ormskirk, Preston & Southport Travellers Assn.) would say about Community Rail Partnerships. Frankly the CRP for the Ormskirk – Preston Line seems to go around in circles getting nowhere.

A train from Preston pulling into Ormskirk Station.

A train from Preston pulling into Ormskirk Station.

Actions plans (such as they are) come and go, Lancashire County Council seem at best to be treading water over the line and oddly, from my perspective, the CRP is chaired by Merseytravel despite none of the line being in Merseyside.

Instead of Lancs County Council driving a positive agenda forward to develop the line they seem to be giving it little more than a tea and sympathy approach.

We backed CRP for the Ormskirk – Preston line within OPSTA as we felt it would revitalise the line by:-

* Making the trains more frequent
* Introducing Sunday Trains
* Planning for the eventual extension of the Merseyrail service to Burscough and then to its logical destination Preston.
* Progressing the reconnection of the Burscough Curves so that the Southport – Wigan and Ormskirk – Preston lines are one again connected.

Sadly such an agenda in not being developed so in West Lancashire CRP is not leading the way and the headline in railwatch would have better reading ‘East Lancs leads the way’.