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Colne to Skipton rail link bid gets national backing
AN attempt to reopen the Colne to Skipton railway line has won the backing of a national pressure group.
Campaign for Better Transport has written to Transport Secretary Justine Greening urging her to consider funding the reopening as part of the Government’s forthcoming rail investment plans.
A report, entitled Reopening Railways, said that reinstating the 11.5-mile link between the two towns could be done at a ‘relatively low cost’ and would provide economic benefits.
It proposes a number of measures to promote new or reopened lines and stations to match growing demand and help relieve rail overcrowding and road congestion.
Members of SELRAP (Skipton-East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership) welcomed the group’s support.
Andy Shackleton, liaison officer, said: “This is exactly what we have been saying all along. Anything that comes along and says we backed this rail line has to be good news.
“We have said that this line would help disconnected parts of Pennine Lancashire gain access to better services.
“It would allow people in Colne to reach Skipton in 15 minutes and then use the electric service to Leeds.
“There is an economic gain to be had as well as advantages for tourism and regeneration.
“There are so many advantages to this scheme.”
The report, launched at the House of Commons yesterday, comes in the run-up to next year’s 50th anniversary of the Beeching report, which led to the closure of hundreds of railway routes.
Stephen Joseph, Campaign for Better Transport’s chief executive, said: “We believe that providing new or reinstated rail links and stations is the most cost- effective way of reducing carbon, improving quality of life for local people and helping the economy.
“That’s why we’re calling on the Government to create a ‘connecting communities’ fund which would complement the Government’s intention to devolve responsibilities for local rail services to individual councils.”
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