Lancashire County Council has called for a new body combined with other local authorities to help develop and improve the region’s rail network and amplify local concerns.
The new body, named the North West Regional Business Unit for Rail, is intended to ensure that local priorities and guidance are taken into consideration by the Rail North Partnership.
The Rail North Partnership acts on behalf of Transport for the North and the Department for Transport to oversee Northern and TransPennine rail franchises.
The county council’s cabinet has been presented with a report asking councillors to appoint an officer to the new business unit for rail, which will represent ‘all councils with a responsibility for transport in the north west region’.
Cllr Rupert Swarbrick, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “”The decisions made about rail travel at a regional level have an impact on many of Lancashire’s priorities for transport, and we need to make sure that we’re making our voice heard on behalf of our residents.
“Lancashire is already represented on Transport for the North, which leads on representing the north’s rail priorities, however it’s important that we’re also part of the new regional business unit which will speak with one voice to set out key priorities and advice on behalf of north west councils.
“Councils have a wealth of information, knowledge, and expertise which can help to ensure that decisions about rail investment support our priorities to boost our local economy and look after our environment, and I’ll be recommending to cabinet that we’re represented on the new business unit for rail.”