RAIL delays have hit the network through Blackburn and East Lancashire for the jubilee bank holiday weekend.

Operator Northern has confirmed services between Clitheroe and Manchester and Colne and Blackpool South were hit by signalling staff sickness.

One morning service, the 0732 Blackburn to Clitheroe train, has already been cancelled - and the running of other later trains is reportedly affected.

Earlier Manchester-bound trains on the same line had already omitted stations between Clitheroe, Blackburn, Darwen and Entwistle, beginning instead at Bolton.

And the same was true of trains heading to Blackburn, Darwen and the Ribble Valley from the city centre.

Similar delays and cancellations were reported for the stopper service between Colne and Blackpool South.

But Network Rail bosses now say they have located a replacement signaller and services should resume - though with knock on delays.

A Northern spokesman said: "Following signalling staff being taken ill between Preston and Hebden Bridge all lines have now reopened.

"Train services....are returning to normal but some services have been cancelled or delayed. Disruption is expected until 9am.

"Services between Preston and Hebden Bridge, Blackburn and Colne, Blackburn and Clitheroe and Blackburn and Bolton are have been disrupted due to a signaller being taken ill.

"Network Rail have now arranged for a replacement signaller to work and are working to restore services.

"Services are now able to run to all destinations. Please be aware that due to the earlier disruption, services will still be cancelled and delayed. This is due to train crew and train displacement."

Rail passengers are being advised to check online before making any journeys, with the possibility of some replacement bus services also being suggested.