Transport Secretary meets with business leaders fighting to get Southport back on track

31st January 2018

Mr Grayling was invited to a roundtable by Southport’s Conservative MP, Damien Moore. 

The roundtable, which was held at Fletcher’s Solicitors, included hotel owners, shop keepers and local business people. 

They are fighting against plans which would see the 30-year-old service from Manchester Piccadilly to Southport re-routed to other stations. The group also want to see better services and updated rolling stock.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “I would like to thank Damien for inviting me to speak with Southport’s business leaders who want to preserve the current train link and see better services and newer rolling stock. 

“We are investing in the biggest rail modernisation programme for over a century to improve services for passengers – providing faster and better trains with more seats. In the north west alone there are over 2,000 extra rail services a week from the Great North Rail Project. Northern and TransPennine Express are investing over £1bn in new and refurbished trains across the north, so that by 2020 all the Pacer trains will be gone, including for services between Southport and Manchester.

“Damien cares passionately about his constituency and wants to see Southport thrive. This is one of Britain’s great seaside towns and I know how important the town sees its service from Manchester Piccadilly as a means to ensure that the town remains a popular destination for commuters, holidaymakers and visitors. We are working with Northern to see what can be done to make this happen.” 

Damien added: “Southport is a fantastic place enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year who come to enjoy the sights. We’ve also got events such as the world-renowned Southport Flower Show, the Comedy Festival, the Air Show, and we frequently hold the Golf Open. 

“For all of these reasons and more, it’s vital that we have a modern updated train service fit for purpose, which will ensure that the town and everything it has to offer if enjoyed by generations to come.”

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