High hopes for Skipton to Colne rail link

Skipton Railway Station

10:35am 18th December 2017

A group which is campaigning to reopen the railway line between Skipton and Colne is confident that the link will be restored.

The issue was raised by Ilkley's MP, John Grogan, at Prime Minister's Questions earlier this month.

In response, Theresa May told him that the Government will look at the proposals "very seriously".

David Walsh, of the Skipton and East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership (SELRAP), said: "You've got 180,000 people in East Lancashire who cannot currently commute into West Yorkshire and Leeds, because there is no easy way of doing that. There is no rail link at all and the A56 road link is abominable.

"If we get this link, then everybody from Burnley, and points east from Burnley, will be able to get into Leeds in an hour or less, and that opens up big possibilities there.

"Going the other way, I'd be able to get to Manchester Airport if I want to go on holiday and so would a lot of others. You've got to go east to Leeds first and then go from Leeds to Manchester Airport, so you're going 25 miles in the wrong direction in order to come back the same distance - that's crazy."

The campaign has already got support from politicians, councils and businesses including Skipton Building Society.

Meeting about reopening Skipton to Colne railway

Plans to reopen the Skipton to Colne railway line being discussed

Skipton's MP, Julian Smith, recently attended a meeting hosted by SELRAP and Andrew Stephenson, the MP for Pendle, to explore options for fast-tracking the reopening of the railway line.

Mr Smith said: "It was clear from the various businesses and organisations that there is strong support for this scheme.

"I have already had a range of conversations about the reopening of the Skipton to Colne line with my colleagues in the Department for Transport and I will continue to offer the project my support."

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