Rail study to explore the potential for rail connections

Date published: 11 October 2018

Consultants have been commissioned to explore the potential for rail connections to the borough of Rochdale from Rossendale.

The study, commissioned by Rossendale Council in partnership with Lancashire County Council, will see the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) consultants looking at the early strategic case for investment for the Rawtenstall to Manchester corridor.

This would involve tram-trains, accessing the Metrolink network at Buckley Wells (Bury) or alternatively using a heavy rail curve at Castleton.

Any solution would need to ensure full integration with the East Lancashire Heritage Railway. The route takes in large towns not currently on the national network including Rawtenstall, Ramsbottom, Bury and Heywood.

The study will complement work done on the Economic Development Strategy, Local Plan and recent Highways Capacity Study to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place to support projected economic growth in Rossendale, Pennine Lancashire, Bury and Rochdale.

The findings will be presented later in the year.

Councillor Alyson Barnes, leader of Rossendale Council, said: “Rossendale is the only borough in Lancashire without a rail link and it is essential for our future prosperity that we get one.

“Rossendale is on the up and we need our transport infrastructure to reflect that. Delivering a rail link will fit into our wider strategy to vastly improve transport links.

“I know from talking to people and businesses that there is strong support for a railway link. But we need to make our case based on strong evidence. That is why we have commissioned this report at our expense to do an in-depth study. I look forward to receiving the findings of the report.”

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