Dec 12 2013 by Sophie McCoid, Ormskirk Advertiser
A TRANSPORT group has slammed the plans not to include the Burscough curves in the West Lancashire Transport Masterplan released last month.
The transport plan recognises that the reinstatement of the curves would allow a direct link between Ormskirk and Southport and Wigan creating tourism opportunities and better connectivity.
However it states that there is no business case for the reinstatement of the curves at the moment although they are willing to review their position at a later stage.
Now the chairman of the Ormskirk, Preston and Southport Travellers’ Association, Alan Fantom, has hit back at these plans arguing that there is a business case for the curves.
Alan said: “We need to take action now to reinstate the curves. The belief there's no positive business case stems from a study conducted four years ago.
“ It concluded the economic gains would be no more than 1.5 times greater than the cost and for any rail development to be considered by Government and the Department for Transport the benefit cost ratio (BCR) must be at least 2:1.
“However our association has always held deep reservations with the study’s findings, not least because the baseline used in the modelling assumptions is wrong.
“We are presently conducting our own research under the project name ‘SWOPLink’ and believe the BCR could come out nearer to 3:1 for many reasons including access to health and education, transport links across Sefton, travel to work, conference business and not least for tourism purposes.
“ I echo John Pugh’s sentiments that there must be a collective will, political co-operation and administrative collaboration if we are to get the transport plan we need and deserve.”
West Lancashire Borough Council said: “We will support the delivery of and not allow any development which could prejudice the scheme.”
Sefton council have previously supported the reinstatement of the curves during previous talks and said: “We will respond in due course to the transport masterplan.”