Indeed, safeguarding has been maintained, but there is no opportunity in the Select Committee to put forward the proposals to include the Golborne link. There is no opportunity to put a petition. Basically, debate has been stifled by this amendment, which is why I am objecting to it.
There are no alternatives that are cheaper than the Golborne link. In fact, it becomes more likely that phase 2b without the Golborne link will cost more than it delivers. There are no alternatives that can be delivered with less disruption to passengers and freight on the west coast main line than the Golborne link. There are no alternatives that can be delivered quicker than the Golborne link other than small-scale isolated improvements. Wigan Council has identified a number of measures that could easily be incorporated in the Golborne link that would substantially reduce the adverse impacts on local communities. Greenhouse gas emissions will be increased by removing the Golborne link.
The Government have insisted that any alternative should deliver the same benefits and outputs. There is no alternative to match the benefits at similar cost. As concluded in all the independent analyses that have taken place, the solution to all of this is the Golborne link. It is simply wrong to stifle debate by removing any possibility for the Select Committee to re-examine it and for people to petition for this. It is stifling debate. The land is still safeguarded and people are still blighted by it and yet we cannot even talk about it. That is why we need to re-examine it and local people, local councils and Transport for Greater Manchester all need to be able to have their say.