Buckshaw station parking solution is "the priority" for transport cash - after confusion about where it would be spent

Buckshaw residents are being reassured that money earmarked for transport projects in the village will be spent in the local area - and not shifted to other parts of Chorley.

Wednesday, 26th February 2020, 3:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th February 2020, 3:58 pm

The wording of a sentence in Chorley Council's budget papers prompted a petition signed by more than 550 people calling for the cash to be invested in Buckshaw itself - specifically, on a solution to ongoing parking problems at Buckshaw Parkway station.

The document had suggested that £696,000 in contributions from housing developers - as part of planning agreements to secure improvements to the railway station - could be spent “elsewhere in the borough”.

But deputy council leader Peter Wilson told a meeting of the full council that the money will stay in the village - with enhanced car parking facilities being “the priority” for investment.

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Buckshaw Parkway has proved popular with commuters

“We were in negotiations with Network Rail regarding a footbridge to go from Euxton Lane over the railway,” Cllr Wilson explained.

“That’s not progressed - so we asked for flexibility to spend the money elsewhere, but elsewhere in Buckshaw. The biggest issue is the car parking and the developer has said we can have that flexibility.”

A statement on the authority’s Facebook page provided further clarification, stating that the council had sought to confirm that the developer would permit the money to be spent on “in the vicinity of the station...so we can use it to make improvements that may be off site if creating more parking on site isn’t possible”.

So-called “section 106” contributions are usually reserved for a particular purpose when they are agreed with a housebuilder.

Data from the Office of Rail and Road last year revealed that between 2012/13 and 2017/18, the number of passengers using Buckshaw Parkway increased by more than 150 per cent - from around 230,000 to roughly 350,000.

Opposition councillor John Walker described the current parking situation at the station as “critical”.

The council’s Facebook page states that “at least two have been had in recent weeks to help come up with a solution”.

It adds: "The wording in the report was poor and we apologise for this. The intention has always been to use the money for Buckshaw Village. We need other partners to help find a solution as it is likely more money will be needed to create the extra parking that is needed.

The wording of the document has now been amended to refer to the section 106 money being spent “elsewhere in Buckshaw”.

The petition was set up by Euxton, Buckshaw and Astley county councillor Aidy Riggott.