A commuter rail link from Accrington to Manchester should include stops at Rishton and Huncoat, councillors have urged.
A motion from Hyndburn council will be submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin MP calling on him to include the two borough stops as ‘selected stations’ in the new direct rail link starting in May.
The Observer reported last week how councillors will also urge the Department for Transport to extend the rail link to Manchester Airport once the ‘Ordsall Chord’ link is completed in December 2018.
The Chord will connect Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria stations and councillors said extending the rail link to the airport from East Lancashire will have a ‘significant impact’ on Hyndburn’s economy.
Rishton ward councillor Harry Grayson said he finds it ‘quite unbelievable’ that Rishton has not been included as a stopping station.
He told the recent full council meeting: “I can’t help but feel bitterly disappointed that Rishton will not be included as a route station.
“I find this quite unbelievable as we are on the same line as Church and Oswaldtwistle and Accrington.
“Once again we seem to have been overlooked and not given an invitation to the party so to speak.
“This is despite Rishton being the biggest ward in the borough. A stop in Rishton would be hugely beneficial to the residents.”
Councillor Dave Parkins also requested that Huncoat station is added.
He told the meeting: “The Friends of Huncoat Railway Station and the local school kids have done a tremendous job and it’s a beautiful station now with a new crossing.
“I think we should have a bit of payback for the people of Huncoat for what they’ve done.”
Great Harwood councillor Kerry Molineux said: “I do know they have now made Pleasington station a selected stop so you have to let them know you want to get off at Pleasington, otherwise it whistles through.
“This might be an option for stops at Huncoat and Rishton so, when they are not needed, the train whizzes past and when it is it’s there for you.”
Coun Noordad Aziz said he was ‘happy to add Rishton and Huncoat’ to the motion and having the stations as selected stops ‘might be a more viable option’.
The direct rail link will start from Accrington on May 17.