It followed the publication of the independent Union Connectivity Review, which said the Golborne link would not resolve all the capacity constraints on the West Coast Mainline between Crewe and Preston.
During a debate at the second reading of the HS2 bill this week, Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue shared her disappointment about the link being axed.
She said: “There are no alternatives that are cheaper than the Golborne link.
“There are no alternatives that can be delivered with less disruption to passengers and freight on the West Coast Mainline than the Golborne link.
“There are no alternatives that can be delivered quicker than the Golborne link, other than small-scale isolated improvements.
“Wigan Council has identified a number of measures that could easily be incorporated in the Golborne link that would substantially reduce the adverse impacts on local communities. The Government has insisted that any alternative to the Golborne link should deliver the same benefits and outputs within the £96 billion envelope allocated for the Integrated Rail Plan. There is no alternative to match the benefits at similar cost. As concluded in all of the independent analysis that has taken place, the solution to all of this is the Golborne link.”
The Government’s decision to scrap the Golborne link has been met with a mixed reaction.
The Railway Industry Association, Rail Freight Group and High Speed Rail Group said that without the link, a “bottleneck” would be created north of Crewe on the West Coast Mainline, which would “negatively impact outcomes for passengers, decarbonisation and levelling up”.
But Leigh MP James Grundy and some residents’ groups have welcomed the decision to axe the link, after years of campaigning against it.