I have concerns about the proposed bypass to the west of Colne as it would destroy one of our real treasures.
Look north from Remembrance Field at the top of Red Lane across the reservoirs and it will be obvious what would be lost. This is not just pretty, it is one of the best views in the country.
As a boy in the early 60s, my friend John Butterworth and I were taken rambling by my father with Colne Naturalists’ Society around “Shirt Neck Harry”, Slipper Hill and Old Ebbie’s Reservoir, and were shown the secret location of rare orchids and I feel something really beautiful would be lost forever if this plan goes ahead.
The proposed bypass is not the only option. Before the cancellation of the original Colne bypass plans in 1993, the M65 was to be a trans-Pennine link, passing along the South Valley and across moorland towards Crosshills and Keighley. But instead it was brought to an abrupt end at the boundary.
Then, to make things even worse, development on North Valley Road and Vivary Way resulted in the over-use of traffic lights, causing much of the congestion. But I think the current gridlock could be eased significantly by the substitution of roundabouts, mini-roundabouts and pelican crossings, and I suggest this be done anyway, regardless of any bypass decision.
However, another opportunity might now exist too; the Government is again keen on improving transport links across the North, and it seems a good time for Pendle to press for the original plan to be reinstated.
This could be good for congestion and with careful planning could be a boost for local industry, including the South Valley. Thus journey times, industry and one of the gems of our area would all benefit, and Colne would be a better place. Perhaps our local politicians could use their influence to make sure this is included in the proposed regional plan for the North.
Dr Christopher Holmes
Chatham Street, Colne