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SELRAP meets Parliamentary Under Secretary Of State For Transport, Andrew Jones MP, at Westminster!
SELRAP, along with David Cutter (CEO of Skipton Building Society) and Andrew Stephenson MP (Pendle, and a SELRAP patron) met with Andrew Jones at Wetsminster on July 5th. The aim of this meeting was to update the minister and seek advice of options on how the re-opening the Skipton to Colne line could be progressed. It was a sequel to a series of high level meetings SELRAP had with Network Rail, Rail North and train operators Arriva Northern. The minister heard that earlier in the year SELRAP had welcomed the publication of the transformational report by the Output Definitions Group. This consortium consisted of representatives from Lancashire and North Yorkshire County Councils, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Transport for Greater Manchester, Pendle Borough and Craven District Councils, Network Rail and Northern Rail. This working party was instigated by the Department for Transport and a representative from SELRAP attended their meetings.
Mr Cutter echoed the findings of the ODG report including the acknowledgement that the corridor between East Lancashire and Leeds suffers from poor transport
connectivity . David Cutter was also concerned how that impacts on where his company (the town's largest employer) can recruit staff from and indeed at present
just 25% of the Skipton head office employees live in Lancashire.
In the meeting SELRAP representatives agreed with Andrew Jones that further work needed to be done to better understand the scale of economic, social and environmental
benefits the scheme would bring to the area and beyond. Freight could also be carried on this line easing existing congestion and therefore benefitting companies
Andrew Jones heard from SELRAP that the time is now right for professional sponsors to be brought in to progress the scheme to the next phase as it is a low cost,
low risk rail project. It would be part of the wider transport infrastructure improvements that are a pre-requisite to making the Northern Powerhouse a reality.
The minister advised that SELRAP liaise further with Transport for the North and the relevant Local Economic Partnerships as a means of forwarding the project
to the next phase. Mr Jones noted that one of the challenges is to ensure cross- border working continues.
SELRAP have also invited the minister to have a conducted tour of the Skipton to Colne link.
We are now on FACEBOOK too. Please visit Facebook.com/reopenskiptontocolne Or search @reopenskiptontocolne
The Open meeting held at Herriots Hotel, Skipton on the 11th July was very productive. There was a lot of imput from SELRAP members who continue to give loyal support
the campaign which is a fast, modern and sustainable solution for Lancashire and Yorkshire.