Friday, 7 October 2011

Todmorden Curve - a decison due anytime now on the £8m funding

Anytime now the Government are going to make a decision on the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) bid to Government for around £8m to rebuild the direct train route between Accrington and Manchester (Victoria) via Burnley and Todmorden.

I have campaigned over many years to see this line reinstated which will provide around a 40 minute journey to Manchester rolling back the Tory 'Beeching' cuts made of 1962 which cut Hyndburn from Manchester and the south.

There are real economic opportunities for Accrington town centre and the wider area.

Should it get the green light we should see increased development around the train station in Accrington. Buildings such as the Conservative Club and other historic buildings need regenerating. It should also increase the desirability of current sites such as the Globe Centre. Hyndburn is in a beneficial position with development and business opportunities around the station with the station is near the town centre.

Crucially it will be reliable direct service offer an alternate offer to commuters working in Manchester. The X40 and X41 despite being frequent but always caught up in heavy congestion and been late when I have caught them. Average weekly wages in Hyndburn are £380 compared £500 per week in Manchester. This rail link has the potential to make Hyndburn a satellite of Manchester's economic growth.

It will also connect Hyndburn better to West Yorkshire and Manchester Airport through Victoria Station. Should it get the green light, it will be about taking advantage rather than sitting back.