New rail station is set to open next week

Burnley Manchester Road Station could open it's doors next week
Burnley Manchester Road Station could open it's doors next week

The doors to the new Manchester Road train station are finally due to open next week – months behind schedule.

The station office remains closed after the development failed a building regulations inspection, it has been revealed.

The office, part of £2.3m. modernisation work on the station which started way back in August 2013, should have been open to the public this summer.

But with the bad weather here, passengers are still having to wait outside in the cold.

But Burnley Borough Council said it will now open later this month - hopefully next week.

Burnley County Coun. Marcus Johnstone said: “Everything else has been done but this office should have been opened in the summer.

“Now, when people are stood there freezing cold and getting wet through, it’s just sat there empty. I’m on the case and we need to crack on with it.”

He later confirmed that he had been in long talks with all the relevant agencies and they appeared to have resolved the issues and the station would now open probably next week.

The contract to build the new station, which also included new shelters, a new car park and improvements to the entrance for pedestrian use off Manchester Road, was tendered and awarded to Lancashire construction company Walter Carefoot & Sons, who were working to a completion date of March 2014.

In June, Burnley Council leader Coun. Mark Townsend told the Express that a few finishing touches were being undertaken at the station.

But five months on, the development, labelled a top priority by council chiefs, remains unfinished.

Burnley Council, however, when contacted by the Express, said the technical issues had been resolved and the new station building will open later this month.

Chief Executive Steve Rumbelow said: “There have been technical issues with the new Manchester Road railway station building.

“We have been working with Lancashire County Council to resolve these issues and to achieve a handover of the building to Northern Rail who will operate the building on a lease from the county council.

“Northern Rail has engaged really positively and worked pragmatically to put in place arrangements which allow it to open the building and operate it whilst the technical details of the long-term lease are worked out with the county council.

“As a result we are now working to open the station during the week commencing 17th November, 2014.

“We will confirm the exact date in the next few days.”

Council leader Mark Townsend said: “This has been a frustrating few months and I am pleased for the sake of commuters that Northern Rail has stepped up to enable the building to be opened.”

It is the latest in a long line of rail-related headaches for the borough. The reinstatement of the Todmorden Curve, to cut train times from Burnley to Manchester to 45 minutes, was set to open before Christmas, but it is now likely to be May.