COUNCILLORS are campaigning for rail chiefs to create a ‘request stop’ at Rishton station.

It is five years since the ‘Todmorden Curve’ opened up East Lancashire to a direct train link to Manchester and that led to an increase in passenger numbers commuting from Hyndburn to Manchester.

Cllrs Noordad Aziz, Jeff Scales, Kate Walsh and Rishton council candidate and activist Jodi Clements have launched a campaign to add Rishton station as a stop for the train from Blackburn to Manchester.

Cllr Aziz said: “For nearly 20,000 of Hyndburn residents, Rishton is the nearest station with the travelling distance being under two miles and would save additional journeys of up to 40 minutes to get to the other nearest station.

“We think that good transport links are the key to social and economic mobility.

“We are trying to take a pragmatic approach to what is already there and there are a number of workers who drive because they don’t want to drive to Blackburn or Accrington but if they could get a train to Rishton it would be easier.

“This is a real chance to grow the passenger numbers using trains and if it was to happen it would create lots of opportunities for people to get jobs.

“They would also not be stuck in traffic into Manchester and it is viable.

“We want a request stop, so you would have to press a button or tell the conductor the train needed to stop there.

“It would allow Northern to see if there is a need for it and they could make it permanent if successful.”

Chris Jackson, regional director of Northern, said: “I’m aware of the desire of local people to have a stop at Rishton and we want to do everything we can to provide the service that creates a positive impact for the communities we serve.

“Sadly, because of existing timetables, journey times and capacity issues in Manchester it’s not possible, at the moment, to make any amendments to the calling pattern of trains on this route.

“We will, however, continually review the situation. We will keep speaking with local residents and councillors and, if the opportunity arises through future developments, will reconsider the proposal.”