The council leader is calling on the government to build a new railway station in the borough of Rochdale as part of new £70 billion proposals unveiled this week to overhaul transport links across the north of England.
Councillor Allen Brett said the Transport for the North plans to create an additional high-speed line from Manchester to Leeds created the perfect opportunity for a brand new commuter station in the borough which would serve a large section of Greater Manchester outside the city centre.
'With proposals which could create 19,000 new jobs and 7,000 new homes, we need the infrastructure to support this massive growth'
He said: "We have suffered outdated and poor rail services that were deemed unfit for the south of England decades ago for far too long. With potential for a new line passing straight through Rochdale borough, it's time that the government and Transport for the North looked at getting the wheels in motion for a new commuter station in our borough."
Citing the Northern Gateway proposals, which are part of the Greater Manchester spatial framework, he said: "We're currently consulting on plans to identify new sites for housing and employment which could create 19,000 new jobs and 7,000 new homes and boost our economy by a whopping £600m.
"The Northern Gateway is the biggest growth opportunity in Greater Manchester. It will radically change the economic landscape of our borough, but we need the infrastructure to support it and this presents the perfect opportunity.
"We have a station in Rochdale, but Heywood and West Middleton, which will be at the heart of this growth and will be increasingly major players in the region's economy, are not served by either Metrolink or a rail line, which is bonkers.
'Heywood and Middleton's transport links are not up to standard'
"I'm calling on Transport for the North to get on board. Businesses and houses need first class transport links and, while we have these elsewhere in the borough, Middleton and Heywood are woefully served. The spatial framework proposals could transform the fortunes of the borough and create the kind of growth we've not seen for years, but we need to get this new station on track, so we can capitalise on this once in a lifetime opportunity."