NORTHERN Powerhouse minister Jake Berry has underlined the government's commitment to extending the East Lancashire railway line from Colne to Skipton.

His pledge came after Pendle peer and councillor Tony Greaves raised concerns over the future of the trans-Pennine link following former Transport Secretary Chris Grayling's departure.

In January the ex-Cabinet minister gave his backing to the scheme but left the government after Boris Johnson became Prime Minister earlier this month.

Lord Greaves has put down a Parliamentary question on the future of the project.

Rossendale and Darwen MP Mr Berry told the Lancashire Telegraph: “I would like to see an upgrade of the East Lancashire line from Preston to Colne and its extension to Skipton.”

On Saturday, announcing a firm commitment to building a new high-speed Manchester to Leeds rail link, Mr Johnson said: "I want to be the Prime Minister who does with Northern Powerhouse Rail what we did for Crossrail in London."

Lord Greaves said: “We all know that the former Transport Secretary Chris Grayling was a supporter of this scheme.

"It is a worry that the new Transport Minister Grant Shapps may never have heard of it.

"I want to focus his attention onto it before he loses his way in the morass of HS2, HS3, Crossrail, Crossrail 2, new runways, autonomous vehicles, and everything else.”