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Study on reopening of Lancashire-North Yorkshire rail link announced

Words: Laura Edgar
Railway lines / iStock-459017281

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has launched a study into the potential reopening of a 12-mile route between Lancashire and North Yorkshire.

The study will consider the value of reopening the Skipton to Colne railway, which last ran in 1970.

The route could provide a faster journey across the Pennines as well as allow new passenger services between Lancashire, Skipton and Leeds, connecting towns on the route to jobs and education opportunities.

The study has been co-commissioned by the Department for Transport and Transport for the North (TfN).

TfN wants to improve connectivity in the central Pennines corridor.

Grayling said: “The historic line between Skipton and Colne could deliver a vital link across the Pennines to boost business and move goods between the east and west much more quickly.

“I want this study to look clearly at the business case and value that the line could provide.”

Barry White, chief executive at TfN, said the organisation would now work with the department, taking note of previous work undertaken, to produce a cost and economic benefit study for reopening the line.

TfN’s recently published draft Strategic Transport Plan for the North identified the Central Pennines as one of seven strategic development corridors vital to future economic growth in the region.

White said this work “supports our vision of a thriving north of England, where modern transport connections drive economic growth and support an excellent quality of life”.

The study is due to be completed later this year.

Image credit | iStock