No plans for rail link con­trast with HS2 bil­lions

Rossendale Free Press - - The Rossendale Scribbler -

WHEN the com­pany be­hind North­ern Rail was given the fran­chise to run ser­vices in the North, one of their com­mit­ments was to look at whether East Lancashire could have a direct con­nec­tion to Manch­ester Air­port.

With de­press­ing pre­dictabil­ity, North­ern have con­cluded that there’s not enough ca­pac­ity in and around Manch­ester to sup­port such a ser­vice – de­spite tens of mil­lions of pounds be­ing spent on im­prov­ing ca­pac­ity in and around Manch­ester.

North­ern say they hope they can ‘re­visit’ the idea in the fu­ture but have ‘no de­fin­i­tive plans’ at the mo­ment about the ser­vice.

Things like this con­trast starkly with the £75bn be­ing spent on cre­at­ing HS2, the high-speed train ser­vice which will ul­ti­mately make jour­neys be­tween Manch­ester and Lon­don faster.

Those jour­neys are only two hours at the mo­ment any­way, roughly as long as it’ll take you to get from Rossendale to Manch­ester Air­port via pub­lic trans­port.

East Lancashire’s rail­ways are in a poor state, de­spite the open­ing of the Tod­mor­den curve to pro­vide new ser­vices from the area into Manch­ester.

The trains are old, the ser­vices of­ten un­re­li­able and timeta­bles packed with stops to make jour­neys long.

We of­ten talk about the fact Rossendale doesn’t have a work­ing rail link for com­muter ser­vices.

The poor state of the ser­vices East Lancashire does have, and the flat re­fusal to im­prove them, shows just how far away we are from ever see­ing reg­u­lar trains run­ning to this area again.

There doesn’t ap­pear to be a will by those in charge to give East Lancashire a de­cent train ser­vice.

●● An artist’s im­pres­sion of an HS2 train - £75bn is be­ing spent on the high-speed train ser­vice to make jour­neys be­tween Manch­ester and Lon­don faster

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