A WESTMINSTER meeting with government officials and campaigners to reopen the Colne to Skipton rail link has been hailed as 'positive'.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson hosted the House of Commons summit on Tuesday.

It featured presentations from the Skipton East Lancs Rail Action Partnership (SELRAP) campaign group and officials from the Department of Transport.

It was attended by the new Conservative MPs for Burnley Antony Higginbotham and Hyndburn Sara Britcliffe as well as Northern Powerhouse Minister and MP for Rossendale and Darwen Jake Berry who spoke in favour of the move.

The audience included representatives from businesses such as Skipton Building Society and local authorities including Lancashire County Council and Hyndburn Council's Labour leader Cllr Miles Parkinson.

Government minister Mr Stephenson said: “Reopening the Colne-Skipton line would be a major boost to Pendle’s local economy and radically improve our transport links.

“It would also have positive benefits across East Lancashire and the wider northern region, by reinstating a key east to west link across the Pennines. It’s also something that can be delivered relatively quickly – it’s ‘oven-ready’ as the Prime Minister likes to say!

“The meeting was very positive and constructive with plenty of support from all those who attended and I hope the campaign will continue to make progress.”

Cllr Parkinson said: "It was a very positive meeting.

"This is about moving the reopening of the Colne to Skipton link forward which can be done without affecting an existing line or services.

"The reinstatement of the line is about re-energising the forgotten towns of East Lancashire, which have been in the transport sidings for too long, and giving them a vital transport link across the Pennines.

"This needs to happen for both passengers and freight and it needs to include a new depot at the site of the old Huncoat power station."