THE revival of the first direct link to Manchester in years is fantastic news for East Lancashire.

A real boost to the economy commuters will be able to travel to Manchester in 52 minutes from Burnley and 63 minutes from Accrington.

Yesterday’s reinstatement of the £8.8million Todmorden Curve has been a long time coming. It ended 30 years of lobbying from MPs, councillors, the Lancashire Telegraph and volunteer rail groups.

As well as opening up East Lancashire as a new commuter belt for Manchester, business leaders believe the new service has the potential of bringing in £20million in to the area each year.

Land is currently being earmarked to build new homes to accommodate prospective new residents and the business community is gearing up for an influx of potential new customers.

Supporters hope Hyndburn and Blackburn will benefit just as much as Burnley.

Residents will now also be able to look further afield for jobs in the city without the pressure of having to move closer.

And if rail bosses achieve their ambition of shaving another 10 minutes off the ride with better rolling stock in 12 months time, East Lancashire will have even more to celebrate.