Council leader looks forward to further government talks on rail link

Published May 27, 2020 at 12:42

The leader of Rossendale Council has welcomed the government’s offer of further talks over restoring a rail link for Rossendale.

Rossendale Council submitted an application to the Restoring Your Railway fund based on its early strategic case for investment for a commuter link between Rossendale and Manchester, with stops along the way at Rawtenstall, Ramsbottom, Bury and Heywood.

Rossendale is the only borough in Lancashire without a rail link. Since the closure of the Rawtenstall line in 1972, commuting has grown massively with 60 per cent of Rossendale residents leaving the Borough each day to access employment, mainly within Greater Manchester.

The bid has been backed by local MPs and Lancashire County Council. 

Following the government’s announcement on which bids were successful in the first stage, the leader of Rossendale Council, Councillor Alyson Barnes said:

“Obviously it’s disappointing that we didn’t make the shortlist in this round but I am very encouraged by the feedback to our bid and welcome further talks with government to discuss our proposals.

“There is a clear case for investment in a rail link in Rossendale especially given the scale of the climate emergency we face and the need to see a reduction in the number of cars travelling on the A56 and M66 . We already have infrastructure in Rossendale we could potentially use. Our plans have always included making sure of the continued success of the East Lancashire Railway. This Council will continue to work with partners on this project, especially our local MPs who I hope will use their influence in Westminster, to make the case for a rail link this borough sorely needs.”

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