THREE East Lancashire towns have been named in the five best places for Manchester city centre workers to live and travel to their jobs.

Property experts Zoopla's Commuters Affordability Index puts Burnley in first place with Accrington third and Blackburn fourth.

The table adds up the cost of an average annul mortgage payment with price of a yearly season ticket factoring in the travel time to to Manchester city centre and the quality of life on offer.

In contrast fashionable Altrincham, the most expensive place to commute from at a combined cost of £10,519 with a 27-minute travel time, comes last.

Civic leaders in the three towns welcomed the survey results but called for improvements in the reliability of rail services.

Burnley has an average annual mortgage cost of £3,047 and a yearly Manchester rail season ticket price for 2019 of £1,876 giving a combined total of £4,923 along with 45 minute journey time.

Accrington's costs are mortgage £3,720, season ticket, £1,876, combined cost £5,596 and journey time 57 minutes.

The Blackburn figures are average mortgage £3,959, season ticket £1,876, combine cost £5,835 and journey time 50 minutes.

Burnley Council leader Mark Townsend said: “I’m delighted the report has named Burnley as the top commuter town for Manchester. It reinforces what we have been promoting for quite some time.

“Burnley has undergone a huge transformation in recent years.

“Since the new direct rail line opened from Burnley to Manchester, Burnley has become an attractive Manchester commuter belt proposition – from countryside to city in just 45 minutes.

"What we need now is faster and more frequent trains and better punctuality and reliability."

Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Council regeneration boss, said: "This reflects the success of what we have been doing to improve the housing in the borough making it a desirable place to live for those who work within it or in places like Manchester. What we need now is improvements in the punctuality and reliability of the train services to build on this."

Cllr Miles Parkinson, leader of Hyndburn Council, said: "This shows Accrington has a lot to offer as a place to live if you work in the city, We now need improvements to our transport links."