RAIL campaign group SELRAP said it was closer than ever before to achieving their goal of getting the Colne to Skipton line re-opened.

The group has secured a further £10,000 in funding from Lancashire County Council which should lead to a GRIP (Governance for Railway Investment Projects) study, which would involve Network Rail.

Speaking at the group’s annual general meeting last week, chairman Derek Jennings said: “I think I can say we are nearer in achieving our goal than we have ever been.”

A recent report from consultants ARUP suggested that re-opening the line would be financially viable, and now the group want to fund a report with Network Rail that could lead to the line being re-instated.

Mr Jennings also thanked SELRAP members who he said had ‘responded so magnificently to the appeal to help fund them’.

Liaison officer Andy Shackleton spoke about the study undertaken by ARUP.

That study has provided an updated analysis considering the social need for the link, the potential service, engineering options and has conducted an economic appraisal of the scheme.

He said the costs to benefits ratio was found to be very promising and if the number of passengers is greater than calculated for every £1 spent there could be benefits worth £6.

Also in attendance was County Coun Azhar Ali who spoke in support of the GRIP feasibility study.

He said the Colne to Skipton line, whilst helping the local economy, was also of regional and national importance.