Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Accrington rail campaign: get us back on track

I have raised the issue of the new £8m Accrington to Manchester rail line having no trains several times in Parliament. I am delighted the Accrington Observer has taken up the campaign to pressurise the government into finding at least one train to enable the line to begin offering a service.

Manchester is a growing metropolitan area with not just better paid employment on average, but different and varied job opportunities in the city centre and crucially job opportunities within companies that offer good career prospects.

This line is vital. East Lancashire is becoming part of the Greater Manchester economic region. It's not just links to Manchester Airport but the Odsall Curve (linking Victoria and Piccadilly stations) to be completed in 2018 will offer direct rail and airport links.

I have already made the case to Network Rail and the Rail minister that the East Lancs line should after 2018 go straight through to Piccadilly and onto the airport.

Such developments represent huge opportunities for growth in Hyndburn. Bringing skills and investment to the northern arc of Manchester competing with crowded Cheshire as well as connecting people of East Lancs to services, jobs in the city and regional transport hubs.

The government are promising a train this December. I will continue to keep up the pressure to ensure that a diesel engine arrives sooner rather than later…

Here are the latest three replies from the minister following my inquiries.