Earby residents hoping for delays in proposed rail line reopening

Colne Station
Colne Station
Share this article

Determined Earby residents have banded together to form a pressure group which they hope will delay or even cancel a planned rail link from Skipton to Colne.

Despite a largely positive response elsewhere in Pendle, the proposed re-opening of the decades-old line, championed by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling on a recent visit to Colne, has not found favour with residents in Earby who believe their quality of life will be affected.

One such resident, Mr John Cooper, said that he and other concerned neighbours were worried about the vibration and pollution that would be caused near to their homes by the proposed freight and passenger trains using the line, which closed nearly half a century ago.

He said: "We have found that some 700 houses in Earby alone could be adversely affected by the reopening of this line. One freight train an hour is expected to use the line, should it be reopended, which would cause an adverse amount of pollution and vibration near our homes.

"We have decided to form a residents association to fight these plans and we will be doing a leaflet drop this weekend to make everyone in Earby aware of the plans. There are some diverse views among our members, with some not wanting any rail line at all.

"I'm of the view that if there has to be a railway line then it sould take a different route, up and around the back of Kelbrook and coming out near the A59. I would also like to see the line built alongside a new bypass, otherwise there will be absolute chaos on the roads around here."

Other residents have also expressed concern regarding the possible loss of all or part of their back gardens, which had been extended in recent years to what would have been the former line. Losing that land and having a busy stretch of railway line, they say, would have a very detrimental affect on the value of their properties.

SELRAP, the Skipton and East Lancs Rail Partnership, has been campaigning for some years to reopen the line, which was closed in 1970.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson has also been a vocal supporter of the campaign and led a Parliamentary debate in 2017 on re-opening the line, which he believes will bring economic benefit to the borough as well as ease traffic congestion.