Local residents were queuing up on Saturday to sign Ribble Valley Labour Party’s petition to save Clitheroe Interchange from closure.
In just a couple of hours, more than 350 people had signed the petition which calls on Lancashire County Council, Ribble Valley Borough Council and Northern Rail to find a way to maintain the service.
Giles Bridge, who chairs the local Labour Party, said: “Tory controlled Lancashire County Council is proposing to close the interchange to save around £40,000 per year. The interchange provides a valuable service to the travelling public and staff provide expert help on tickets and travel.
“Closing the interchange will most affect the elderly and those on low incomes, who don’t have access to online booking and information. This is yet another local service, which is at risk from austerity cuts.
“It is also very short-sighted. As Clitheroe expands, good public transport services will be increasingly important and the interchange provides a gateway to the town and the wider Ribble Valley.”
Anne Taylor, campaigns co-ordinator for the constituency, said: “We were delighted by the response to the petition. Local people are seeing public services disappear and they are saying ‘enough is enough’!”
Leader of Ribble Valley Borough Council Coun. Ken Hind said that when the proposals were announced six weeks ago Ribble Valley Conservatives made their feelings known that the interchange should not be closed.
“We’re now taking an active part in the consultation to keep the interchange open as it’s so important for the people of the Ribble Valley,” said Coun. Hind.
“Ribble Valley Conservatives do not want the closure of the interchange and we’re doing everything that we possibly can.
“We have listened to members of the public. We don’t need a petition to tell us that we need to get on and stop this.”
Coun. Hind recently met with Lancashire County Council, Northern Rail and Transport for the North during which improving the frequency of trains from Clitheroe to Manchester Victoria from hourly to half hourly was discussed and the need to reopen the rail link from Clitheroe to Hellifield.
He added that during a Ribble Valley Borough Council Parish Councils’ Liaison Committee meeting the 20 representatives who were there from local parish councils made their objections known to the proposals to close the interchange.