It is hoped a new station will be developed at Midge Hall as part of a scheme which has been established to give the economy a boost following the pandemic.Advertisement
The Lancashire County Council fund which will pay for the scheme is called the Lancashire Economic Recovery and Growth Fund.
Part of the scheme may see a new station at Midge Hall, which would provide access to Preston, Ormskirk and Liverpool.
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It is hoped that the station would increase the likelihood of travel by train, improve access to skilly and employment by increasing the job search area for residents – especially those without access to a car.
It would also serve a much wider area of communities which currently lack access to rail transport in the Midge Hall area.
The development of up to 950 houses at the former Moss Side Test Track Site would be within walking distance of the new station, and could result in a positive business case for the scheme.
A new station at Midge Hall would improve the sustainability of the housing development. The potential for a park and ride facility at the station will be explored, which could reduce congestion in central Preston.
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The Department for Transport (DfT) is currently inviting MPs, local councils and community groups to bid for funding through a programme called Restoring Your Railways to progress proposals to reinstate disused railway lines, and restore closed stations.
The DfT will fund 75 per cent of costs, up to £50,000, of successful proposals to help fund transport and economic studies and create a business case.
The proposal, agreed in-principle, is to match/top-up any funding resulting from a successful bid to Restoring Your Railways from the Lancashire Economic Recovery and Growth Fund to carry out the business case for Midge Hall Railway Station, demonstrating county council support to the values of the scheme and wider sustainable transport ambitions.
If a business case can be proven, further work would then follow to fully detail the feasibility of the proposal, exploring issues such as delivery costs and impact upon existing railway operations such as timetables.
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The bid has the support of Katherine Fletcher, MP for South Ribble, and is being led by Lancashire County Council.
County Councillor Michael Green, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, said: “The case for reopening Midge Hall Railway Station is becoming stronger all the time as new developments in the surrounding area progress, and I’m very pleased that the county council has agreed to support this first stage of work towards delivering that goal.
“Reopening Midge Hall will improve sustainable transport options for thousands of people and help our progress towards Lancashire becoming carbon neutral.
“As such I believe we have a very good case to put to the Department for Transport to develop an outline business case.
“The county council’s offer to top up or match DFT funding through the Lancashire Economic Recovery and Growth Fund is vital to the bid to unlock the opportunity to progress this important scheme.”
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