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Selrap Press Release

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

PRESS RELEASE 3rd October 2023 DRAFT 17:00 Jane Wood: SELRAP Media Officer. Contact or 01282 815787

Skipton to Colne Rail Link – Key Levelling Up Project

The campaign group SELRAP today urged the Government to include the reinstatement of the Skipton to Colne railway in the review widely anticipated to be announced today by the Prime Minister.

SELRAP Chair, Peter Bryson said “East Lancashire has some of the highest and worsening indices of multiple deprivation in England and this must be recognised in any Levelling Up programme. Restoring the Skipton to Colne railway would open up a new, strategic trans-Pennine route linking deprived East Lancashire with the Powerhouse cities of Leeds and Bradford.”

All MP’s along the “red wall” are Conservative and strong supporters who have been pressing the Government to get on with it.

Peter Bryson added “If ever there was an infrastructure project to level up deprived communities, then Skipton to Colne is it. It can be delivered sooner than any other similar project and is urgently needed to reverse the decline in East Lancashire. It’s time to Level Up and for East Lancashire’s voice to be heard”. ENDS

Accrington Market Hall 19th January 2023 Photo Courtesy of Sara Britcliff, the MP for Hyndburn (on the left) Note to editors 1. SELRAP is a campaign group: the Skipton and East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership. 2. SELRAP has about 500 members and enjoys wide support from politicians and key businesses. 3. SELRAP has been campaigning to restore the 12-mile long Skipton to Colne railway to give several very large communities transformationally better access to education and jobs in the northern powerhouse city of Leeds and Bradford. 4. The Department for Transport and Network Rail have developed a sound business case for the Skipton to Colne project. This would cost £300million (approx. 1% of the government’s planned spending of Northern Powerhouse Rail). 5. It is a green-field site with low risk to both cost and opening date. 6. The route would serve Accrington, Burnley and Pendle with a combined population of over quarter of a million people. Journey times into Leeds and Bradford would be transformed. 7. Of over 300+ councils in England, four of the five council areas along the route are in the most deprived 10%, with three out of the five being in the most deprived 5%. 8. These towns relative deprivation has worsened markedly in recent years and the towns along the route continue to fall further behind the rest of the North. 9. The project runs through the town centres of many marginal Red Wall constituencies:

a) Philip Davies – Conservative MP for Shipley. b) Robbie Moore – Conservative MP for Keighley and Ilkley. c) Julian Smith – Conservative MP for Skipton and Ripon (Note. Neighbouring the PM). d) Andrew Stephenson – Conservative MP for Pendle (Note. Former HS2 Minister). e) Anthony Higginbotham – Conservative MP for Burnley. f) Sara Britcliffe – Conservative MP for Hyndburn (in photo above).

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