COUNCIL chiefs have admitted they ‘reluctantly agreed’ for services at Sankey for Penketh Station to be cut to four trains per day as part of the development of Warrington West Station.

Concerns over the station closing have frequently been raised due to the arrival of the new £19 million site in Chapelford, which is on track to open in 2019.

The authority has been lobbying against a reduction in services at Sankey for Penketh Station.

However, so far, its efforts have been unsuccessful.

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A council spokesman said: “We remain completely committed to keeping Sankey for Penketh Station open.

“As far as we are aware, there are no plans to close the station and should this ever be proposed then we would strongly oppose it.

“As part of the development of Warrington West Station, we have had to reluctantly agree that there will be a reduction in service at Sankey for Penketh Station once this new station opens.

“Unfortunately, this will see the current service reduced to four trains per day – one train to both Liverpool and Manchester during the morning peak period and one train returning from both cities during the evening peak period.

“This was agreed as part of the current Northern rail franchise agreement, which came into force in 2016.

“Throughout this period we have lobbied Network Rail, Arriva Rail North (Northern), Transport for the North and the Department for Transport to ask them to either not reduce the current hourly service at all, or to reduce it to a two hourly service, rather than to four trains per day.

“To date, this has been unsuccessful but we will continue to press our case for this with the rail industry.

“Work is progressing well with the new Warrington West Station, which is due to for completion in summer 2019.

“It will be served by an increased service frequency and will also include services on a Sunday, which is an improvement on the current situation, where the western part of Warrington has no Sunday service.

“Regular updates are being provided on progress with the station and full details are available on our website.”

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