CONSULTANTS have been asked to investigate the potential for boosting transport connections to Rossendale.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has been commissioned to explore the potential for rail and tram links to the borough.

The study has been jointly commissioned by Rossendale Borough and Lancashire County Councils.

It will look at the case for investment for the Rawtenstall to Manchester corridor including tram-trains, accessing the Manchester Metrolink network at Buckley Wells in Bury or using a heavy rail curve at Castleton.

It will look at integrating the East Lancashire Heritage Railway linking Rawtenstall, Ramsbottom, Bury and Heywood with the national rail network.

Cllr Alyson Barnes, leader of Rossendale Council, said “Rossendale is the only borough in Lancashire without a rail link and it is essential for our future prosperity that we get one.

“Rossendale is on the up and we need our transport infrastructure to reflect that. There is strong support for a railway link but we need to make our case based on strong evidence."