Burscough Bridge Interchange
At its meeting on 13th July, the Parish Council considered the future of the Interchange Building and whether or not the Parish Council (or another community organisation) might take over ownership.
The ticketing facility is now closed, and we don’t know what equipment has been left in place: Burscough Parish Council could never, within the laws available to it, run a ticketing facility – but could, and still can if a deal can be found, take on the management of the building and so provide the space for a third party organisation, with the skills needed, to run that facility.
Despite LCC, (subject to suitable business plan) being prepared to hand over ownership of the building to the Parish Council, such a deal would not be the gift it first appears: When the information pack was received, it became clear that wrapped up with the handover of the building, came the car parks and responsibility for fences and surrounds; There are conditions that substantially restrict the type of use; Ground rent has to be paid to Network Rail, and there are rates and other charges to keep the building open; Funds for any internal reconfiguration would have to be found by the Parish Council; There are conditions on the lease which create a significant liability that is difficult to quantify, and if accepted, any and all costs would ultimately be passed on to residents.
LCC have stated that completed bids must be received by 14th August. The Parish Council have asked a series of questions, and sought to negotiate changes to see if an acceptable arrangement can be reached, and are waiting for LCC to respond, but the clock is ticking and there is at present a wide gap between what has been offered, and what would be reasonable for the Parish Council to accept.
Burscough Bridge Interchange was establishedin 2005 to provide a combined bus and rail interchange for the local community. The building contains a ticketing office (which closed on 29th June 2016), a manager’s office attached to the ticketing office, a café/meeting area and a fully accessible public toilet. The building has also served as a waiting area for passengers on the Southport bound platform of the station.
Since the closure of the ticketing office on 29th June, the building is no longer in use. It is not clear what the future may be for the building, if no organisation takes it over.
The Parish Council is keen to work with partners to save this community resource. The building may also provide suitable accommodation for a number of transport related private enterprises such as private hire. If you represent a community or private organisation and wish to use Burscough Interchange in any way, please get in touch with the Parish Council office and make your views known as quickly as possible.