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Colne bypass 'could be worth billions'
2:00pm Tuesday 3rd December 2013 in News
THE proposed Colne bypass could be worth £2billion to East Lancashire’s economy, according to a business leader.
Mike Damms, chief executive of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, joined other business leaders and councillors to press the case for the bypass when the Government’s road minister Robert Goodwill visited Pendle yesterday.
Mr Goodwill was shown traffic problems around North Valley Road, Colne, before meeting the business chiefs at Euravia Engineering, in Kelbrook.
He said: “This is one of the most compelling cases for a project like this in the country.
“I’ve seen the congestion problems in the area and listened to businesses who have spoken about how it affects them and the difference it would make. I am hopeful we can see a way forward.”
Mr Damms said that 4,000 to 5,000 new jobs could be created through benefits from the bypass, with a boost of £2billion to the economy over the years.
Among the business leaders Mr Goodwill spoke to were Dennis Mendoros, managing director of Euravia and chairman of Pendle Vision Board, and Richard Bannister, who owns Boundary Mill.
Mr Bannister said: “This project is very important for Pendle. At the moment Colne is just a bottle-neck, and it is difficult for customers from Yorkshire to get to us. It affects our customers and staff, as well as deliveries. People making deliveries from the east have to allow extra time for the traffic.
“The meeting was very encouraging but until somebody says ‘yes, this is going to happen’, we can’t sit back.”
Mr Mendoros said: “At the moment we are landlocked and this isn’t going to appeal to businesses. It is important to improve the links between Lancashire and Yorkshire.”
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “I am delighted that the road minister accepted my invitation to visit Pendle to discuss the Colne bypass.
“He was able to see firsthand the problems in Colne and the rat running this causes through residential areas, as well as meeting with representatives.”
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