A MASSIVE scheme to create a bus and rail interchange in Clitheroe has come under fire from the town's civic society.

The interchange scheme has been on the drawing board for many months and its aim will be to link rail and bus services in the town at a new purpose centre near to the town's railway station.

Lancashire County Council, Ribble Valley Council, the Rural Development Commission, Railtrack and North Western Trains have joined forces to draw up the project, which was awarded more than £200,000 just before Christmas by the Government.

But in a letter to Ribble Valley Council, the civic society says there is no need for such a development and a survey should be carried out to discover if it would be used.

It adds: "Until it is known which of the bus services will use the station and how often, it will be impossible to assess the impact on traffic flows and congestion.

"We have long believed and supported the view that the bus and train services should be integrated, but equally believe that it is not necessary to provide a bus station in order to do this.

"There are already many bus services which pass the railway station and drop and take on passengers, but the timetables are not co-ordinated.

"The bus and rail operators seem unwilling to get together. We believe is is naive to think that, as if by magic, the provision of a very costly bus station will bring this about."

The civic society has appealed for the council to defer the application until a survey has proved there is a need for the interchange.

Members of the council's planning committee are meeting today on Tuesday to discuss the plan with town hall experts recommending the scheme be given the go-ahead, despite the reservation of the civic society.

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