Golborne is a former pit village in my constituency and in that of my right hon. Friend the Member for Makerfield (Mr. McCartney). It stands at the crossroads of the north-west; indeed, it is hard to imagine a more strategic location. Nestled in the corner of the M6 and the east Lancashire road, next to Haydock racecourse, the town stands at the confluence of Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire on the historic Liverpool to Manchester route, yet, unbelievably, the area is the most poorly served by rail in the whole of the north-west. It bore the brunt of Dr. Beeching's axe, leaving nearby Leigh, the largest town in England, without a railway station, and Golborne stranded. People used to work locally, but with the closure of the pits and the loss of other local jobs, Golborne, Lowton and Ashton have become commuter areas. Many people have moved into the area to its new housing estates, but have no choice other than to get into their cars and join the queues on the east Lancashire road. Golborne is crying out for a station, which would be the catalyst for its wider regeneration.This petition, unlike many others, has Cabinet backing. My neighbour, my right hon. Friend the Member for Makerfield, and I live in Golborne and Ashton. We can assure the House that the 1,800 people who have signed our petition—neighbours and friends, as well as constituents—would use a station if they were given one. The petition states:
To the House of Commons.
The petition of residents of Golborne, Lowton, Ashton and the surrounding districts
Declares that a new railway station in Golborne, Greater Manchester, would enhance the quality of life for residents in Golborne, Lowton, Ashton and the surrounding districts and would make public transport accessible for both business and pleasure.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government, the Strategic Rail Authority, the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority and others concerned to take steps to provide a new railway station in Golborne.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.
To lie upon the Table.