Jane Wood: SELRAP Media Officer. Contact jvwood@hotmail.
SELRAP “Much Encouraged” by Minister’s Statement.
SELRAP is much encouraged that Rail Minister Hugh Merriman has agreed to talk to Red Wall MPs to get the green light for restoring the strategic trans-Pennine Skipton to Colne Railway. In a clearly scripted answer to a question from Sarah Britcliffe MP, he promised to meet MPs along the route to discuss progressing to the next stage of development.
SELRAP has been pressing Ministers and MPs to make progress but has been blocked by a Treasury block on any new funding commitments.
SELRAP Chair, Peter Bryson reacted to the news from Parliament, saying “We are much encouraged to hear this announcement. It was carefully worded question, but more importantly a rehearsed response and it surely means that, at last, East Lancashire will get some proper Levelling Up.”
But he went on to warn that East Lancashire needs more than words. “We, SELRAP and the voters of East Lancashire, will be holding this Government’s feet to the fire. There will need to be some real progress to convince us that this isn’t just yet more hollow promises to East Lancashire and we look forward to working at pace with the Minister and his Department for Transport to get on with linking East Lancashire to the jobs and opportunities of the Powerhouse cities of Leeds and Bradford.”
SELRAP recently reminded politicians that the hard-pressed communities of East Lancashire are now experiencing the worst levels of economic and social deprivation anywhere in England.