Julian Smith MP attended a meeting hosted by Andrew Stephenson, the MP for Pendle, and SELRAP (the Skipton-East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership) to explore options for fast tracking the reopening of the Skipton-Colne rail line.
The meeting was very well attended, with representatives from Arup, Skipton Building Society, Drax power station, Peel Ports, Transport for the North, Arriva Rail Northern, Network Rail, North Yorkshire County Council, Lancashire County Council, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Bradford Metropolitan District Council.
The scheme proposes reopening 11.5 miles of disused track, connecting the Airedale line in West and North Yorkshire to East Lancashire’s Colne to Preston line, creating a direct route from Preston to Leeds.
Julian Smith said: ‘I want to thank my ministerial colleague, Andrew Stephenson MP for hosting this meeting. I also want to pay tribute to SELRAP for the great work they have done over the past years in campaigning for the reopening of this line.
‘It was clear from the various businesses and organisations at today’s meeting 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.’