THE proposed new Colne bypass would keep thousands of jobs in Barnoldswick, according to a local councillor.

Town councillors are being urged to back the bypass plan when they meet next Wednesday, and to support the preferred route which would see the new road leave the M65 south of Barrowford Reservoir.

The council is also reaffirming its support for the reinstatement of the Colne to Skipton railway line.

Coun David Whipp said: “There’s a real opportunity to see a Colne by-pass built in the next decade. This is essential to keep high-quality, advanced engineering companies in Barnoldswick and West Craven, with the thousands of jobs that they provide.

“After 30 years of campaigning, improved transport links could become a reality in a few short years.

“It’s important for communities like Barnoldswick to give their backing to these plans.

“I’m also proposing that the town council reaffirms its support for the rail link between Colne and Skipton.

“This could be another dynamo for our local economy, opening up both Leeds and Manchester by rail from West Craven.

“Achieving both road and rail improvements would provide a double boost for Barnoldswick, keeping existing jobs and creating new ones in the future. “I hope the town council will back this wholeheartedly.”

The town council will discuss the proposal at its meeting on Wednesday at the Rainhall Centre in Barnoldswick at 7pm.

Also on Wednesday, Lancashire County Council’s transport planners will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the bypass route options outlined at Colne Library, from 11am to 7pm.