COUNCIL bosses have been accused of giving the public ‘lip service’ over Sankey for Penketh Station – with a lead campaigner fearing it is destined to close.

As reported in November, the council ‘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 it closing permanently have frequently been raised due to the arrival of the new £19 million site in Chapelford.

In 2017, Andy Moss started a petition to save Sankey for Penketh following fears that its days were numbered.

Mr Moss, who lives within walking distance from Sankey for Penketh, pressed the authority over its meetings and correspondence with service providers over the past two years after submitting a Freedom of Information request.

And following a response from transport chief Steve Hunter, he has hit out over a ‘lack of action’ from the authority.

He said: “It appears that the council has not done anything since the end of 2017, in terms of written communication to rail providers to try to improve things.

“They committed to us that they would pick this up in the new year, which at the time was January 2018.

“But they have not done anything despite their promises.

“To say they reluctantly accepted it, I think that is very disingenuous, especially given the support our online and physical petitions had.

“Our online petition gained more than 1,300 signatures.

“That shows the huge strength of public feeling on this issue.

“I think the council is falling short of delivering what we should expect.

“From a positive perspective, the council says, in its response to my FOI, that there will be other opportunities to lobby and we would fully expect them to do this in a vigorous way.

“It is important that the public know this so that they can hold Mr Broomhead and Mr Hunter to account.

“It feels as though to date they are giving the public lip service in terms of keeping this site open, I would predict Sankey for Penketh Station will close in the next couple of years.”

But the council insists it has ‘consistently reinforced’ its commitment to keep the station open throughout the development of Warrington West.

A spokesman added: “Transport for the North (TfN) and the Department for Transport (DfT) jointly manage the Northern rail franchise which operates services on this line and, as far as we are aware, there are no plans to close the station.

“Should closure of the station ever be proposed, then we would strongly oppose it.

“We have lobbied Network Rail, Arriva Rail North (Northern), TfN and the DfT to ask them to either not reduce the current hourly service at all, or to reduce it to a two hourly service, rather than four trains per day.

“Since we met with Mr Moss to discuss his petition in 2017, we have continued to have regular discussions with the rail industry on this issue.

“However, this has been affected by the May rail timetable changes, which have had a huge impact on services across the north of England.

“This has meant this lobbying has not been successful.

“Service patterns for both Warrington West and Sankey for Penketh have been discussed regularly in progress meetings and work is under way to confirm the timetables which will be in place at both stations when Warrington West opens.”