Traders back campaign to save rail office

Giles Bridge with Charlotte Eccles of Raffia with copies of the petition. (s)
Giles Bridge with Charlotte Eccles of Raffia with copies of the petition. (s)
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A campaign to save Clitheroe Interchange from facing the axe continues.

The Ribble Valley Labour Party held two street stalls on Saturday, together with an online petition, which has obtained over 700 signatures, opposing Lancashire County Council’s proposals to close Clitheroe Interchange Ticket Office.

Chairman, Giles Bridge, visited most of the town centre businesses and asked them to sign a petition. He said: “I discussed this with Charlotte Eccles, of Raffia, she was shocked at the possibility of the closure of a vital local service. Over three afternoons, I asked 74 businesses to say that they thought the closure would be bad for the town. If we are to save the Interchange ticket office, then we need to get as wide a group of people and organisations as possible to say that the County Council has to reconsider the plans.”

A similar opinion was expressed by Conservative leader of Ribble Valley Borough Council, Coun. Ken Hind. He said: “We, as a council, are totally behind the traders and share their view on the closure. We did not need a petition at the council to take immediate action against this closure, however, we welcome the petition and we will be continuing our pressure to keep the travel exchange open.

“The passenger use of Clitheroe railway station is growing at the rate of 3% well above national rail usage of 1% per year. We are pressing Northern Trains to extend the half-hourly service from Manchester to Blackburn onto Clitheroe. This makes so much sense and there is a very good case for it in the light of increased passenger usage. This will help residents working in Manchester and bring tourists to Clitheroe.

“In parallel, we are campaigning to open the The Ribble Valley line for passenger traffic from Clitheroe to Hellifield.” The consultation on the proposed closure ended on April 29th and a final decision will be made by County Hall in the near future.