A CAMPAIGN to add a new stop to the Todmorden Curve line from East Lancashire to Manchester is gathering steam.

Hyndburn Labour councillors Kate Walsh and Noordad Aziz have taken the fight for the trains on the line to pick up and drop passengers at Rishton to their party's front bench.

And local Tory MP Sara Britcliffe has raised the issue with rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris.

The Todmorden Curve giving Burnley a direct link with Manchester reopened in 2015 with many services going to Accrington and Blackburn but not stopping at Rishton.

Labour's shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon MP and shadow rail minister Tan Dhesi MP have thrown their support behind the campaign after discussing it with the two councillors and former MP, Graham Jones.

Local campaigner, Jodi Clements from Rishton said: "We need Rishton to be a place that offers people good connections."

Great Harwood's Cllr Aziz said, “Good transport links are the key to social and economic mobility.This is just one improvement the government can make and will benefit Rishton and Great Harwood residents.”

Rishton's Cllr Walsh said: "It's important that Rishton is on the rail map with greater frequency of services including a new service to Manchester as well as to Preston and to other stops along the line. The bus to Accrington can take over an hour to go to college for example”

Mr Jones said, “Transport always brings prosperity. I am grateful to Jim and Tan for giving their time and support to Rishton councillors and residents. I will be writing to the rail authorities and the government minister to press the case for a better services at Rishton and across Hyndburn."

Miss Britcliffe said: "I met with Mr Heaton-Harris to discuss rail services for Hyndburn and Haslingden and push for improvements across the Lancashire.

"I discussed the situation at Rishton and the broader picture across with the rail minister."

Chris Jackson, regional director for rail company 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. We will, however, continually review the situation.”