THE next few months ‘may determine’ whether the restoration of the Burscough Curves ‘becomes a reality - or remains on an eternal wish list’ - according to a Southport councillor.
Dukes Ward Councillor John Pugh is calling on all parties to get behind a new drive to make it happen arguing that the window of opportunity is closing rapidly.
He said: “Everyone recognises the restored Curves would have huge benefits to Southport in terms of connectivity with Manchester, Preston and East Lancashire - and other areas would undoubtedly benefit - but there’s always huge gap between seeing the potential and realising it.
“The creation of a £500 million government fund to reverse Beeching Cuts is the latest and perhaps the last hope. The odds currently though are not in our favour and no-one into rail industry is holding their breath on this one.
“We have to give it our best shot and get the government to do more than raise expectations. £500 million on railway projects across the country won't go far in reversing the Beeching Cuts.
“My concern is that those new to the idea don’t appreciate the obstacles that will be put in our way or even what needs doing. We in Southport need to smarten up and embark on a concerted push to stop current hopes turning into a cruel political tease.
“At the moment the government seem to be favouring better rail links for Skelmersdale. Does anyone think they’ll finance two big projects in the same corner of Lancashire? Only one of those helps Southport.
“Being brutal, I think even supporters of the scheme sometimes have only a very vague idea of what the scheme is and civil servants in the Department of Transport will struggle to find Burscough on the map. We need to change that and quickly.”
As part of his push, a new video has been released explaining the project. You can view this at https://is.gd/40qGJP