PENDLE Council is to question the government over the progress of plans to reinstate the Colne to Skipton rail link at the end of the East Lancashire Line.

It is concerned that the scheme's place in Network Rail's pipeline of route improvements had been lost because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Borough deputy leader and Craven ward Liberal Democrat Cllr David Whipp expressed concern at the meeting of its Policy and Resources Committee.

He spoke after chief executive Dean Langton reported to senior councillors: "The project to reinstate the Skipton to Colne Railway Line has moved from the ‘determine’ stage of the Rail Network Enhancement Pipeline to the ‘develop’ stage.

"This focus allows the government to concentrate on ensuring it takes forward things that make a real difference to rail users rather than on the specific infrastructure, rolling stock or technology interventions to achieve this."

Cllr Whipp said he was alarmed at ministerial talk at Westminster of a review of the process and successfully moved that Mr Langton write to transport ministers to clarify the position of the project.

He said: "The rail improvement pipeline has four 'Ds' - Determine, Develop, Design and Deliver.

"The government appears to have added a fifth - Dither.

"This is a muddle and we need Mr Langton to write to the government to find out exactly what is happening with this crucial project."