Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Todmorden Curve. Av wages in Manchester at least £5,000 more than Hyndburn

I recently received another letter from the Department for Transport regarding the lack of trains for the Todmorden Curve. The Department's view is that the area will have to wait until December before second-hand trains from elsewhere on the network.

It is my firm view, as well as that of everyone I speak to on this matter, that it is farcical that we have a brand new train line which isn't opening because there are no trains. What really sticks in the craw of many in the area is that we recently had a number of trains taken from the region to serve more profitable areas in the south of England.

Hyndburn Borough Council recently passed a Motion calling on the Government to urgently get trains on the tracks as soon as possible. Noordad Aziz, Councillor for Great Harwood was absolutely spot on when he said that the direct train "will provide an economic as well as social mobility injection into the area".

As I have stated many times in the past, a well-connected infrastructure is vital for the economic prosperity and future of the region. This is not just pie in the sky economic talk – the Todmorden Curve will link people in Hyndburn to jobs in Manchester, jobs which are generally more numerous and better paid – even figuring above the national average across the UK. As the table below shows the average earnings in Central Manchester are £5,500 a year above Hyndburn, and £500 above the UK average.

Regular and direct train access will genuinely open up the jobs market to everyone in Hyndburn, bring wealth into the constituency and support further jobs. This is why I incessantly write to the Department of Transport, urging them to do everything they can to get the Todmorden Curve opened before December.