FAST new rail lines will not alter Valley’s transport woes (Scribbler, September 1)
Nathan McLean: What Rossendale needs is its own rail link - ideally this would form a loop from Bury using the East Lancs Railway line, taking in Ramsbottom and ending in Rawtenstall. Then, a second line, from Rochdale, through to Bacup should be added. Then, we could go one step further and link the two lines by running them through Waterfoot. However, this will never happen, because of the costs involved for the number of people who would benefit and use the service. Depending on where you live in the valley, and of course how much you are prepared to pay, you can be in Manchester within 40 minutes via rail when using an express service from Todmorden (Bacup to Tod by car is 10 mins, park up, train is 24 minutes). The only issue is travelling from Tod is that although you will be guaranteed a seat, an annual ticket costs approx £1,500 per year, whereas if you travel from Rochdale (20 mins in car, park, 15 mins on train) this cost reduces to approx £800, but you will be stood, and very likely be having your personal space invaded. Niall Higson: Rossendale already had a very good railway network until forward thinking 1960s politicians got there hands on it! The only way you will get the railway back to Rossendale now is via Castleton junction with some sort of agreement with the ELR, though they have already said they don’t want mainline trains using their railway, or an extension of the Rochdale metrolink line up through Whitworth to Bacup, more viable as it can run on its own set reserve As well as road, but there is no political appetite for it as Metrolink belongs to TFGM who only look at their own operating area! Adam Parker: I don’t want to live in the city, I like living in Rossendale. However the lack of job opportunities in the area forces many to commute into Manchester. I do a daily trek into Manchester on a sluggishly slow X43 which is ridiculously time consuming and expensive.
There needs to be discussions and negotiations to provide Rossendale with a train or tram it to the city. Jan Dodgeon: Completely agree. Pointless shaving 20 mins off intercity train journeys when it takes an hour and a half to get to a main line station in the first place. Scrap HS2 and invest in regional railways and trams - Jake Berry please note! Gerry Walker: Or anywhere else in my opinion!
What’s 20 minutes saving from Birmingham to London! Don’t like either place at all! Michael Bickerton: If he cannot get decent broadband for some of us how the hell’s he going to sort this out?