MP Jake Berry takes rail link talks between Rawtenstall and Manchester to top

Lancashire Telegraph: DEBATE Jake Berry DEBATE Jake Berry

ROSSENDALE MP Jake Berry has secured a meeting with a Government minister to discuss the possibility of a commuter rail link between Rawtenstall and Manchester.

Mr Berry led a discussion in the House of Commons yesterday about developing the existing track between the valley and Manchester.

After the success of the debate, he has arranged a meeting with the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for transport Norman Baker.

Mr Berry said the link was essential to ensure that investors came to the area and would help commuters trying to get to work.

He said: “This rail link is absolutely vital for our future. It is certainly my top priority to try to get this right back on the agenda.

“This is a very long term project. It is still very much a dream but I am hoping to move it to reality.”

Mr Berry said it was possible that the the £30million for a full commuter link would be made available in 2019.

Coun Alyson Barnes, leader of Rossendale Council, said: “As a council, we are actively pursuing this in terms of trying to persuade the county council to get behind it and identify the need to get a rail link to Rawtenstall.

“But at the minute we do not have the reserves to do it ourselves. It is quite complex and costly.”

But if the link was only extended to Bury, where passengers could transfer on to the Metro to get into Manchester, it would cost around £8million.

Coun Barnes said: “This would be a starting point that I would welcome because I think it gives an option to people trying to get on the M66, which is one of the most unpleasant commuter routes in the country.”

Graham Jones, MP for Haslingden and Hyndburn, said: “Lancashire County Council needs to step up to the plate on upgrading this link to Rossendale and establish a framework for building up the case and taking this forward.

“I’d suggest rather than spending £32million on rural broadband, perhaps Lancashire County Council could consider the people and economy of Haslingden and commit to this rail link.”

Comments (11)

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10:34am Wed 7 Mar 12

Pan-cake says...

I guess Graham is agin countryfolk because he thinks they are all toffs and there won't be many votes in it for him and his ilk. Fast broadband is essential for ALL areas of the country. Like gas electric water and sewage, fast broadband could almost be called a 'right' in a forward thinking and progressive society. Fast broadband is a prerequsite to release the talents of our people no matter where they live, and to compete with the rest of the world.
'
The rail link from Rossendale into Manchester is a good and sensible idea as well!
I guess Graham is agin countryfolk because he thinks they are all toffs and there won't be many votes in it for him and his ilk. Fast broadband is essential for ALL areas of the country. Like gas electric water and sewage, fast broadband could almost be called a 'right' in a forward thinking and progressive society. Fast broadband is a prerequsite to release the talents of our people no matter where they live, and to compete with the rest of the world. ' The rail link from Rossendale into Manchester is a good and sensible idea as well! Pan-cake

10:47am Wed 7 Mar 12

shytalk says...

Why has this rail link never been opend up before. The sooner it is the better for everyone.
Why has this rail link never been opend up before. The sooner it is the better for everyone. shytalk

12:35pm Wed 7 Mar 12

HelmshoreMan2010 says...

I don't want the rail link! It will bring wealthy people from Manchester living in Rossendale but other than the supermarkets they will still shop in Manchester. No local shop will benefit from this and if anything they will suffer more as it becomes even easier to shop in the city. House prices will rocket up at it becomes even more of a commuter location meaning people from Rossendale will be pushed out. To sum up my comment, we will become like Whitefield...one large housing estate with no personality.

So no Mr Berry, I wouldn't like this rail link sorry.
I don't want the rail link! It will bring wealthy people from Manchester living in Rossendale but other than the supermarkets they will still shop in Manchester. No local shop will benefit from this and if anything they will suffer more as it becomes even easier to shop in the city. House prices will rocket up at it becomes even more of a commuter location meaning people from Rossendale will be pushed out. To sum up my comment, we will become like Whitefield...one large housing estate with no personality. So no Mr Berry, I wouldn't like this rail link sorry. HelmshoreMan2010

1:13pm Wed 7 Mar 12

GAC says...

helmshoreman, what do you think we are now ??

theres over 320 houses being built or planned to be built between whitworth and rawtenstall, and them are the ones we know about.

as for Graham Jones maybe he should read the broadband deal that lancashire got as a big chunk of that money isnt out of there own coffers.

Public sector funding for the scheme is expected to come from:

• £10.8m from Broadband Delivery UK
• £16.5m from the European Regional Development Fund
• £4.7m from Lancashire County Council

the rail link would be handy but only if it was all the way in to manchester, to bury and the metrolink is a half measure and would be a waste of money.
helmshoreman, what do you think we are now ?? theres over 320 houses being built or planned to be built between whitworth and rawtenstall, and them are the ones we know about. as for Graham Jones maybe he should read the broadband deal that lancashire got as a big chunk of that money isnt out of there own coffers. Public sector funding for the scheme is expected to come from: • £10.8m from Broadband Delivery UK • £16.5m from the European Regional Development Fund • £4.7m from Lancashire County Council the rail link would be handy but only if it was all the way in to manchester, to bury and the metrolink is a half measure and would be a waste of money. GAC

1:48pm Wed 7 Mar 12

HelmshoreBoy says...

HelmshoreMan2010 wrote:
I don't want the rail link! It will bring wealthy people from Manchester living in Rossendale but other than the supermarkets they will still shop in Manchester. No local shop will benefit from this and if anything they will suffer more as it becomes even easier to shop in the city. House prices will rocket up at it becomes even more of a commuter location meaning people from Rossendale will be pushed out. To sum up my comment, we will become like Whitefield...one large housing estate with no personality. So no Mr Berry, I wouldn't like this rail link sorry.
Did you raise a similar argument when the M.66 motorway link was opened? Doubt it!

Rossendale has been virtually a post code suburb of Manchester for the last 25 years. Judge for yourself by the amount of lemming like traffic heading that way every morning.

All the new(ish) housing estates in the Valley are occuppied in the main by ex pat mancs, who already contribute very little to the local economy or community, so whats new?

I believe the re-opening of the rail link will offer much, but I would like to know where all the commuters will park their vehicles before decamping to Manchester every morning on the train. Kay street car park is already clogged up by those jumping on the express bus?
[quote][p][bold]HelmshoreMan2010[/bold] wrote: I don't want the rail link! It will bring wealthy people from Manchester living in Rossendale but other than the supermarkets they will still shop in Manchester. No local shop will benefit from this and if anything they will suffer more as it becomes even easier to shop in the city. House prices will rocket up at it becomes even more of a commuter location meaning people from Rossendale will be pushed out. To sum up my comment, we will become like Whitefield...one large housing estate with no personality. So no Mr Berry, I wouldn't like this rail link sorry.[/p][/quote]Did you raise a similar argument when the M.66 motorway link was opened? Doubt it! Rossendale has been virtually a post code suburb of Manchester for the last 25 years. Judge for yourself by the amount of lemming like traffic heading that way every morning. All the new(ish) housing estates in the Valley are occuppied in the main by ex pat mancs, who already contribute very little to the local economy or community, so whats new? I believe the re-opening of the rail link will offer much, but I would like to know where all the commuters will park their vehicles before decamping to Manchester every morning on the train. Kay street car park is already clogged up by those jumping on the express bus? HelmshoreBoy

2:01pm Wed 7 Mar 12

HelmshoreMan2010 says...

HelmshoreBoy wrote:
HelmshoreMan2010 wrote:
I don't want the rail link! It will bring wealthy people from Manchester living in Rossendale but other than the supermarkets they will still shop in Manchester. No local shop will benefit from this and if anything they will suffer more as it becomes even easier to shop in the city. House prices will rocket up at it becomes even more of a commuter location meaning people from Rossendale will be pushed out. To sum up my comment, we will become like Whitefield...one large housing estate with no personality. So no Mr Berry, I wouldn't like this rail link sorry.
Did you raise a similar argument when the M.66 motorway link was opened? Doubt it!

Rossendale has been virtually a post code suburb of Manchester for the last 25 years. Judge for yourself by the amount of lemming like traffic heading that way every morning.

All the new(ish) housing estates in the Valley are occuppied in the main by ex pat mancs, who already contribute very little to the local economy or community, so whats new?

I believe the re-opening of the rail link will offer much, but I would like to know where all the commuters will park their vehicles before decamping to Manchester every morning on the train. Kay street car park is already clogged up by those jumping on the express bus?
I'm 23, how old is the M66? (that's a genuine question).

I just think people paint this magical picture of a perfect utopia the second we connect to Manchester...Rochdal
e has a train link to Manchester and utopia it aint!
[quote][p][bold]HelmshoreBoy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]HelmshoreMan2010[/bold] wrote: I don't want the rail link! It will bring wealthy people from Manchester living in Rossendale but other than the supermarkets they will still shop in Manchester. No local shop will benefit from this and if anything they will suffer more as it becomes even easier to shop in the city. House prices will rocket up at it becomes even more of a commuter location meaning people from Rossendale will be pushed out. To sum up my comment, we will become like Whitefield...one large housing estate with no personality. So no Mr Berry, I wouldn't like this rail link sorry.[/p][/quote]Did you raise a similar argument when the M.66 motorway link was opened? Doubt it! Rossendale has been virtually a post code suburb of Manchester for the last 25 years. Judge for yourself by the amount of lemming like traffic heading that way every morning. All the new(ish) housing estates in the Valley are occuppied in the main by ex pat mancs, who already contribute very little to the local economy or community, so whats new? I believe the re-opening of the rail link will offer much, but I would like to know where all the commuters will park their vehicles before decamping to Manchester every morning on the train. Kay street car park is already clogged up by those jumping on the express bus?[/p][/quote]I'm 23, how old is the M66? (that's a genuine question). I just think people paint this magical picture of a perfect utopia the second we connect to Manchester...Rochdal e has a train link to Manchester and utopia it aint! HelmshoreMan2010

4:54pm Wed 7 Mar 12

Noiticer says...

The biggest problem is that the railway in question is run as a heritage line by volunteers, has a 25mph speed limit and signalling and level crossings which ned quite alot of manpower to operate which mitigates it operating on a daily basis with a frequent service. Good luck all the same.
The biggest problem is that the railway in question is run as a heritage line by volunteers, has a 25mph speed limit and signalling and level crossings which ned quite alot of manpower to operate which mitigates it operating on a daily basis with a frequent service. Good luck all the same. Noiticer

7:33pm Wed 7 Mar 12

Rail Again says...

Rossendale and its various elected representatives have had decades to put together a successful business case to reopen the line and yet they have failed to produce one (and appear to be failing again in their latest attempt) .

This means they are either
1. Incompetent
or
2. There is NO case that can be made (the good idea is not good enough)

I’d suggest number 2 except the minister suggested that Mr Berry should look at his department’s published guidance notes.
Rossendale and its various elected representatives have had decades to put together a successful business case to reopen the line and yet they have failed to produce one (and appear to be failing again in their latest attempt) . This means they are either 1. Incompetent or 2. There is NO case that can be made (the good idea is not good enough) I’d suggest number 2 except the minister suggested that Mr Berry should look at his department’s published guidance notes. Rail Again

10:03pm Wed 7 Mar 12

pdb951 says...

Why stop at Rawtenstall. It used to go through Bacup, Whitworth and on to Rochdale. Oh I forget Rossendale ends just past Rawtenstall so nowhere else matters.
Why stop at Rawtenstall. It used to go through Bacup, Whitworth and on to Rochdale. Oh I forget Rossendale ends just past Rawtenstall so nowhere else matters. pdb951

1:26pm Thu 8 Mar 12

HelmshoreBoy says...

HelmshoreMan. The M66 was opened in 1978-79.
HelmshoreMan. The M66 was opened in 1978-79. HelmshoreBoy

9:21pm Mon 12 Mar 12

spendmymoneywisely says...

Well said pdb951 & Helmshore Boy!. I know there are practical difficulties with re-instating a line through even as far as Bacup but 'where there is a will there is a way'. Rawtenstall is the centre of the universe & the people who matter are not the hard working natives of Rossendale Valley but the city types who have bought our houses on the cheap but still prefer to get their entertainment & shopping in Manchester. In the unlikely event that sufficient money is ever found to realize this pipe dream they will probably buy out ELR & the railway will completely lose its character. Thanks for trying Mr Berry but don't bother as there are more urgent & important issues like keeping the council solvent, creating proper & meaningful jobs which last longer than the transient projects such as the pretty garden in the Valley Centre etc
Well said pdb951 & Helmshore Boy!. I know there are practical difficulties with re-instating a line through even as far as Bacup but 'where there is a will there is a way'. Rawtenstall is the centre of the universe & the people who matter are not the hard working natives of Rossendale Valley but the city types who have bought our houses on the cheap but still prefer to get their entertainment & shopping in Manchester. In the unlikely event that sufficient money is ever found to realize this pipe dream they will probably buy out ELR & the railway will completely lose its character. Thanks for trying Mr Berry but don't bother as there are more urgent & important issues like keeping the council solvent, creating proper & meaningful jobs which last longer than the transient projects such as the pretty garden in the Valley Centre etc spendmymoneywisely

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