Rochdale MP demands final answer on Metrolink!

March 9, 2006 12:43 AM

Rochdale's MP - Paul Rowen has said "enough is enough" and is demanding a final answer on the future of the Metrolink in Rochdale and Oldham. Paul said, "Transport in Rochdale is suffering as a result of the uncertainty over whether we get the go ahead on the extension. For example, the loopline was downgraded in September and restored in December because of leaves on the line. I don't want that to happen again this year in a move that would leave many passengers frustrated. It's about time that we had clear answers, I am sick of promises that have gone on far too long."

Paul has been using his role as Lib Dem Transport Minister to push Transport Boss Alastair Darling MP over their intentions on Metrolink. Paul said, "I have written again asking him to tell us what is happening. Metrolink is vital to Public Transport in our area and the longer this goes on the worse the situation will be. £2 million is needed urgently to invest in the Rochdale / Oldham Loopline and the huge areas across Rochdale, Oldham and beyond are crying out for the Metrolink and the regeneration benefits that it will bring. The Secretary of State for Transport continually evades the question and it's about time he came clean."

Paul Rowen MP continued, "I have continually asked about Metrolink since being elected and the answers have not been satisfactory. We have been told to apply to the Transport Innovation Fund for extra funding and I am hopeful this will be successful. I am concerned that the Secretary of State for Transport seems to be widening the scope for this money and has now included road pricing schemes in the scheme."

Paul Rowen said finally, "The Government are seemingly unable to recognise their part in this. Don't forget it nearly a year since the Labour-led Transport Select Committee pinned part of the blame for the delay on Darling's own Government. The Government have blamed the delay on spiralling costs and yet it is them who are delaying it. We need answers as soon possible. We need to know what is happening and when."