Backing for Manchester-Carlisle rail route through Clitheroe

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rail campaigners claim a survey proves there is a demand for a new Manchester-Carlisle train service through Clitheroe.

Ribble Valley Rail and Friends of the Settle and Carlisle Railway launched a survey four months ago to gauge demand, and had 2,600 responses promising more than 40,000 journeys.

Daily services along the Blackburn-Hellifield line ceased 50 years ago, and since then the Clitheroe-Hellifield section has been used only for freight and for summer Sunday passenger services and occasional charter trains.

The restored Clitheroe to Manchester service has been a great success, and campaigners say there is an opportunity to improve journey choices even more.

Their survey asked: If a morning and evening service Manchester/Carlisle were timetabled in each direction, would you travel to Manchester/Manchester Airport? The Yorkshire Dales? Scotland? How many journeys will you make a year?

Paul Levet from the project team said: “This is a yawning gap in the national network and people are asking why should this be so when there is a line ready to use.”

Every response to the survey is being analysed and used to establish a business case for a new service. The project team are meeting with Network Rail, Department of Transport, Passenger Transport Executives, Northern Rail and other potential franchisees.

The team are continuing to record responses, so anyone who believes they would use the service can record their responses online at or by emailing

Responses answering the survey questions can also be sent by letter to Paul Levet, Jerusalem Hill, Gisburn Road, Bolton-By-Bowland, Clitheroe, Lancs, BB7 4NP.