HYNDBURN Council has backed a call for the complete reopening of the Martholme Viaduct as a walkway connecting the borough and Ribble Valley.

It is also urging Lancashire County Council to link the path to the existing Padiham Greenway.

The imposing grade II-listed structure dating from 1877 stands over the River Calder.

Work has already seen measures to create a Martholme Greenway from Great Harwood towards Padiham.

Netherton Labour Councillors Noordad Aziz and Jodi Clements successfully proposed a motion to Hyndburn's Full Council meeting in Accrington Town Hall in Thursday on the issue.

It asks the authority to write to Lancashire County Council to confirm its support for the complete reopening of the Martholme Viaduct.

The structure partially reopened in 2017 after a 16 year closure caused by the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak.

The meeting also agreed to write to Ribble Valley Council asking it support the campaign.

Cllr Aziz told the meeting: "This historic landmark in my opinion is a stunning structure and I firmly believe that it should be accessible to all and from both sides - from Hyndburn and from the Ribble Valley side.

"The reopening of this magnificent structure would provide a unique recreational opportunity for our community and visitors alike.

"Opening the viaduct will bolster out local economy and tourist industry."

Borough planning chairman Cllr Judith Addison said she understood the major stumbling block to the reopening was a farmer who owned a crucial piece of land holding out for a 'high price' for any sale to the county council.

Cllr Aziz accepted an amendment to the motion from the Green Party group which asked for 'the completion of the Martholme Greenway to meet Sustrans Route 685 (the Padiham Greenway) which would provide and active travel route connecting the borough's of Hyndburn, Ribble Valley and Burnley'.