RESIDENTS have been told the ‘writing is on the wall’ for the Golborne spur as the transport secretary vowed to revisit the controversial part of the HS2 route.

Conservatives Andy Carter, MP for Warrington South, and James Grundy, MP for Leigh, asked secretary of state Grant Shapps about the future of the planned link between Warrington and Wigan in a meeting on Tuesday.

And Mr Shapps has cast doubt on whether it will be included in the HS2 project, which was approved by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the same day.

In a statement, the senior Tory said: “The Golborne spur is currently projected to cost between two and three billion but delivers very little for that sum.

“The writing is on the wall as far as the future of the Golborne spur is concerned.

“We expect to make the final decision on it in months, not years.”

Mr Carter labelled it as ‘good news’ for Warrington.

He added: “I’ve been clear that we need investment into local transport infrastructure to help with journeys to and from work or between town and villages.

“The £5 billion investment in buses and cycling is excellent news and to hear that consultation on Northern Powerhouse Rail between Liverpool and Manchester will start soon is very welcome.

“I’m also really pleased to hear from the secretary of state for transport, Grant Shapps, that the HS2 Golborne spur is being revisited.

“This section of HS2 track is currently projected to cost between two and three billion but delivers very little for that sum.”

But Labour’s borough council candidates for Rixton and Woolston have issued a joint statement following the announcement over HS2.

Chris Vobe, Cllr Andrew Hill and Cllr Pat Wright said it has ‘done nothing to quash fears about the damage HS2 will do’ to communities in Hollins Green and Glazebrook.

They said: “There have been no clear commitments from the Government about changes to the route, or any firm pledges about the future of the spur.

“The Conservative Party are offering us nothing except more uncertainty.

“The arguments around capacity and journey time have been defeated long ago.

“Warrington will not benefit from a station under the current plans, yet we will see untold devastation and disruption through the heart of our historic village.

“We have everything to lose, and nothing to gain.

“Here in Rixton, it is only Labour who are leading the fight against these unwanted plans.”

Council leader Cllr Russ Bowden has also issued a comment.

Warrington Guardian:

Cllr Russ Bowden

He said: "We have consistently acknowledged the potential benefits of high speed rail and we welcome the Government’s commitment to deliver HS2 from Crewe to Manchester.

"We will continue to push for Northern Powerhouse Rail to be delivered in full, with new lines from Liverpool to Manchester - via Warrington - and Manchester to Leeds, with the line serving a hub station at Warrington Bank Quay.

"At the same time, we continue to make the case to Transport for the North, HS2 Limited, Network Rail and Government to remove the Golborne link from HS2.

"We have, over a number of years, strongly stressed that this link would not provide value for money, would bring limited benefits to the rail network and would be damaging to the eastern part of our borough.

“We are now receiving clear indications from Government - including the recent debate in the House of Commons, a radio interview given by the secretary of state for transport and other informal discussions - that they are seriously considering the removal of the link.

“We urge them to take this decision as soon as possible, so that the concerns we have over the negative impact on east Warrington can be eliminated.”

On Tuesday, Labour’s Warrington North MP pressed the Prime Minister directly on the removal of the Golborne spur to ‘continue Warrington North Labour’s long-held opposition to the proposals’.

She said she pressed the case on the basis of the ‘negative impact’ it will have on residents in Culcheth, Croft, Risley and Hollins Green.