Lancashire Telegraph£9m bid submitted for Burnley to Manchester direct rail link (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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£9m bid submitted for Burnley to Manchester direct rail link

AN AMBITIOUS £9million bid has been lodged to finally provide a direct rail link between Burnley and Manchester.

Council bosses want cash from the Government’s regional growth fund (RGF) to reinstate the Todmorden Curve after 40 years.

The line would mean 40-minute journeys from Burnley into the heart of the city.

Bosses also plan to use almost £2million of the money to help prepare for the long-awaited £100million regeneration of the Weavers’ Triangle area.

And separately, a renovation of Manchester Road station, which would be used by Manchester-bound commuters, is also in the pipeline. The RGF proposals, lodged yesterday with the Government, have been hailed as the biggest development yet in the long-running campaign to reinstate the Todmorden Curve, a 500-metre section of track that would be brought back into use.

The plans, which could see Burnley to Manchester trains running in 2013, were also backed by MP Gordon Birtwistle.

He said: “This is a very clever bid because it links the Todmorden Curve and the Weavers’ Triangle to job creation, which is what the Government is looking for.

“I speak to companies all the time who say they would move to Burnley if there was a direct rail link to Manchester.

“I think in two years’ time we will see that finally happen.”

Burnley Council has led the bid, which also has support from Lancashire County Council, Network Rail and newly-appointed Weavers’ Triangle developer Barnfield.

Bosses have asked for £8.8million, of which £7million would be used to lay down new track where the curve is and make alterations at Todmorden railway station, including changes to signalling.

The remaining £1.8million would go on highways improvements in Trafalgar Street, in the heart of the Weavers’ Triangle, and on new lighting and landscaping nearby.

The bid predicts about 500 jobs would be created by the rail work and Weavers’ Triangle improvements, with potentially hundreds more people heading into Manchester from Burnley for better-paid jobs.

Mike Cook, Burnley Council’s regeneration director, said: “This is a proper bid. It is certainly the biggest development there has been as far as the Todmorden Curve goes.”

Mr Cook would not be drawn on the odds of Burnley’s bid securing almost £9million of the £950million the Government has made available in the second round of RGF bidding.

However, a senior source said the town hall was ‘optimistic’ of success.

Separately, the council also plans an overhaul of Manchester Road station before 2013, with a new ticket office, platform shelters and increased car parking.

Network Rail said it was ‘advising’ Burnley and Lancashire County councils on the Todmorden Curve and that it was a ‘priority’ scheme.

Spokesman Keith Lumley said it was hoped the Burnley to Manchester route would be on the timetables by December 2013, with engineering work taking place the previous summer.

He said: “It seems to be getting there. If the council secures the funding from the Government then the Todmorden Curve is a goer.”

A Lancashire County Council spokesman said the Todmorden Curve remained its ‘top priority’ rail scheme and Northern Rail said it was fully supportive of the scheme.

Barnfield said were unavailable for comment yesterday ((FRI)).

A spokeswoman in the Government’s business department said RGF bidders would probably find out in October if their application for cash had been approved.

Asked about the Burnley scheme’s chances of success, she said: “There’s a larger amount of money available in this round than last time.”

Barnfield is expected to begin work on the Weavers’ Triangle later this year with a ‘mixed-use’ development planned.

Comments (10)

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9:56am Sat 2 Jul 11

Maxonian says...

As has been said already elsewhere, this is not ambitious but simply basic, essential and unspectacular. In other words a no brainer. The only matter worthy of comment is where the £9m price tag comes from.
As has been said already elsewhere, this is not ambitious but simply basic, essential and unspectacular. In other words a no brainer. The only matter worthy of comment is where the £9m price tag comes from. Maxonian
  • Score: 0

11:56am Sat 2 Jul 11

Lifeinthemix says...

9 million...I thought we were skint?
.
is this for easier access to and from Burnley for Intel?
.
or just to shift more and more people into the cities?
.
my response to those questions would be, both are correct...and some..
9 million...I thought we were skint? . is this for easier access to and from Burnley for Intel? . or just to shift more and more people into the cities? . my response to those questions would be, both are correct...and some.. Lifeinthemix
  • Score: 0

12:27pm Sat 2 Jul 11

BIGGLESTOE says...

Keeping my fingers & toes crossed for this to go through!
Keeping my fingers & toes crossed for this to go through! BIGGLESTOE
  • Score: 0

6:30pm Sat 2 Jul 11

Noiticer says...

£7 millions seems an expensive bill for 500m of track and some signalling but, there again, a new 8 mile section of motorway has just opened in Glasgow at a cost of £675 millions so the Todmorden Curve's price is a snip and will bring great benfits to NE Lancs as the new service is likely to run to/from Blackburn and journey times to/from there to Manchester won't be much different than via Bolton.
Looking forward to 2013!
£7 millions seems an expensive bill for 500m of track and some signalling but, there again, a new 8 mile section of motorway has just opened in Glasgow at a cost of £675 millions so the Todmorden Curve's price is a snip and will bring great benfits to NE Lancs as the new service is likely to run to/from Blackburn and journey times to/from there to Manchester won't be much different than via Bolton. Looking forward to 2013! Noiticer
  • Score: 0

9:46pm Sat 2 Jul 11

disgusted tunbridge wells says...

Who the hell is going to go to Manchester Road station (no parking) to travel by train to Manchester via Todmorden ?
THere's a great bus service and how on Earth does it involve The Weavers Triangle ?
Who the hell is going to go to Manchester Road station (no parking) to travel by train to Manchester via Todmorden ? THere's a great bus service and how on Earth does it involve The Weavers Triangle ? disgusted tunbridge wells
  • Score: 0

11:01pm Sat 2 Jul 11

BIGGLESTOE says...

disgusted tunbridge wells wrote:
Who the hell is going to go to Manchester Road station (no parking) to travel by train to Manchester via Todmorden ?
THere's a great bus service and how on Earth does it involve The Weavers Triangle ?
Be patient and you will find out.
[quote][p][bold]disgusted tunbridge wells[/bold] wrote: Who the hell is going to go to Manchester Road station (no parking) to travel by train to Manchester via Todmorden ? THere's a great bus service and how on Earth does it involve The Weavers Triangle ?[/p][/quote]Be patient and you will find out. BIGGLESTOE
  • Score: 0

5:47pm Mon 4 Jul 11

Lancylad says...

BIGGLESTOE wrote:
disgusted tunbridge wells wrote:
Who the hell is going to go to Manchester Road station (no parking) to travel by train to Manchester via Todmorden ?
THere's a great bus service and how on Earth does it involve The Weavers Triangle ?
Be patient and you will find out.
A high speed narrowboat link ont' canal?
[quote][p][bold]BIGGLESTOE[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]disgusted tunbridge wells[/bold] wrote: Who the hell is going to go to Manchester Road station (no parking) to travel by train to Manchester via Todmorden ? THere's a great bus service and how on Earth does it involve The Weavers Triangle ?[/p][/quote]Be patient and you will find out.[/p][/quote]A high speed narrowboat link ont' canal? Lancylad
  • Score: 0

9:03pm Mon 4 Jul 11

Burnley_Sailor85 says...

I'd rather get a direct train to Manchester than have to carry my burgen onto the crowded bus (which a 20 min longer journey- or even long depending on the manchester ring road, and if it's the x44 via Edenfield) every weekend- as would many other soldiers / sailors / and air(wo)men who travel home and back at weekends.

We also get a discount on the trains which the bus companies don't do.

There's a lot more seating on the trains.

Have you ever tried to go from Burnley to places like Rochdale (a 30 min drive away) on public transport? At the moment you either have to get a train to Hebden Bridge and change then double back through Todmorden (takes an hour) or get the bus to Manchester and then double back up north again (My record is taking 2 hours).
I'd rather get a direct train to Manchester than have to carry my burgen onto the crowded bus (which a 20 min longer journey- or even long depending on the manchester ring road, and if it's the x44 via Edenfield) every weekend- as would many other soldiers / sailors / and air(wo)men who travel home and back at weekends. We also get a discount on the trains which the bus companies don't do. There's a lot more seating on the trains. Have you ever tried to go from Burnley to places like Rochdale (a 30 min drive away) on public transport? At the moment you either have to get a train to Hebden Bridge and change then double back through Todmorden (takes an hour) or get the bus to Manchester and then double back up north again (My record is taking 2 hours). Burnley_Sailor85
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Tue 5 Jul 11

bankhall says...

I speak to companies all the time who say they would move to Burnley if there was a direct rail link to Manchester.and i really believe that birty lol also with potentially hundreds more people heading into Manchester from Burnley for better-paid jobs. Can you make your docile mind up .Is it jobs for burnley or an exodus to Manchester ???where will these people come from ?with the fading population.Why would paying extra money to travel to Manchester be a good thing all you save is 10 mins ?and one problem i ;when you get the bus you arrive into the centre the train doesnt
I speak to companies all the time who say they would move to Burnley if there was a direct rail link to Manchester.and i really believe that birty lol also with potentially hundreds more people heading into Manchester from Burnley for better-paid jobs. Can you make your docile mind up .Is it jobs for burnley or an exodus to Manchester ???where will these people come from ?with the fading population.Why would paying extra money to travel to Manchester be a good thing all you save is 10 mins ?and one problem i ;when you get the bus you arrive into the centre the train doesnt bankhall
  • Score: 0

11:07am Sat 23 Jul 11

davidinburnley says...

What an absolute waste of money. This would save something like 10 minutes on the current express bus service into Manchester direct from Burnley. Taking into account that you would need to walk to one of the stations in Burnley to get the train (as opposed to hopping on a bus right in the middle of town) and then walk at the other end from the station into the city (as opposed of being able to hop off the bus at any one of a number of stops in the city centre itself), I reckon the bus will be way faster than the train. Not to mention the fact that the train is bound to cost much more than the bus and, if it's like the rest of the rundown rail services across Lancashire, it will have many delays and cancellations. The bus runs every 10 mins at peak times and, of all the times I've been to meeting in Manchester and caught the cheap and convenient bus service, I don't think I've ever had to wait more than a few minutes for a bus to bring me directly home through stunning countryside.

My opinion would be to use the money for something useful instead. I'd rather see the rail link to Skipton restored than this, to be honest.
What an absolute waste of money. This would save something like 10 minutes on the current express bus service into Manchester direct from Burnley. Taking into account that you would need to walk to one of the stations in Burnley to get the train (as opposed to hopping on a bus right in the middle of town) and then walk at the other end from the station into the city (as opposed of being able to hop off the bus at any one of a number of stops in the city centre itself), I reckon the bus will be way faster than the train. Not to mention the fact that the train is bound to cost much more than the bus and, if it's like the rest of the rundown rail services across Lancashire, it will have many delays and cancellations. The bus runs every 10 mins at peak times and, of all the times I've been to meeting in Manchester and caught the cheap and convenient bus service, I don't think I've ever had to wait more than a few minutes for a bus to bring me directly home through stunning countryside. My opinion would be to use the money for something useful instead. I'd rather see the rail link to Skipton restored than this, to be honest. davidinburnley
  • Score: 0

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