A CAMPAIGNER battling to save Sankey for Penketh Station fears it is ‘being closed by stealth’ as the £19 million Warrington West Station approaches completion.

As reported in November, the council ‘reluctantly agreed’ for services at Sankey for Penketh to be cut to four trains per day as part of the development of the new site in Chapelford.

But concerns over it closing permanently have frequently been raised.

The council has confirmed there will be four trains per day stopping at Sankey for Penketh in the October timetable.

A spokesman said: “The situation regarding Sankey for Penketh Station remains unchanged.

“Throughout the development of Warrington West Station, we have consistently reinforced our commitment to keep Sankey for Penketh Station open.

“Due to the development of the new station we have had to reluctantly agree to a reduction in service at Sankey for Penketh, once Warrington West opens.

“However there will be one stopping train to both Manchester and Liverpool in the morning peak hour and one train back in the evening peak hour (ie four trains per day) serving Sankey for Penketh in the new timetable.

“Work continues to progress well with the new station, which is due 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.”

READ > Why people in Warrington won't be going to the polls on May 2

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 the site, says he is not surprised by the council’s latest statement – and claims it is ‘being closed by stealth’.

“From my experience, while dealing with the council regarding this matter we have been given assurances that they would endeavour to secure a reasonable service level at Sankey – they have failed to do this,” he added.

“It is my opinion that they haven’t tried very hard, despite promises that they would continue to lobby, we have seen no evidence of this in the FOI request that was made recently.

“In summary, I think what we have seen here is a hidden agenda, false promises and lip service.”

During the recent leader’s forum at Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub, council leader Cllr Russ Bowden discussed the matter.

He said: "In terms of the council’s message to rail providers, it is absolutely about maintaining Sankey for Penketh Station and offering a credible service from there.

"The council made a considerable part of the investment in Warrington West Station – and part of that was around Sankey (for Penketh) still having a future."