Minister backs business case for new Manchester services

Damien Moore MP and Jo Johnson MP

A proposal for a seven-day service between Southport and Manchester Piccadilly offers ‘good value for money’, according to Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry. He made the case for the line after lobbying from the town’s MP Damien Moore.

Writing to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, Mr. Berry argued that the proposals - drawn up by the Southport Rail Transport Forum, the Ormskirk, Preston, and Southport Travellers Association, and Damien Moore's office - should be seriously considered by his department. They include further investment so Northern can operate additional Class 769 trains, as well as a marketing campaign to recover passengers lost after the disruption from the timetable changes.

The Southport-Manchester Piccadilly line is ‘of strategic importance both for the North West and the wider Northern Powerhouse’, the minister said.

Damien welcomed this support, adding: ‘The Northern Powerhouse is about ensuring Southport and other areas can prosper from the significant investment being made by the government. Our proposals are practical, and I hope they will be taken up.’

The Southport MP also recently met with Rail Minister Jo Johnson MP to discuss the business case in more detail.