Lancashire

Todmorden Curve £8.8m reinstatement approved

A rail link in the North West could be restored after being allocated £8.8m by the Government.

The Todmorden Curve, last used in the 1960s, was granted the money as part of the Regional Growth Fund announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

The restoration of the section of track could cut journey times between Burnley and Manchester by half.

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said it was "great news for Burnley and the surrounding area".

The Todmorden Curve will join the lines that run from Burnley and Manchester into Hebden Bridge, removing the need for trains to go into the West Yorkshire town.

Mr Birtwistle said the award of the money was a victory for those who had shown faith in the project.

"There were many who believed this day would never come, who believed our heritage had no part in our future, who doubted Burnley could ever have a commutable 'city-offer'," he said.

"Well, this is a sign that we're on the way.

"This government has delivered, and over the coming years jobs will result from this announcement."

The county council said the reinstatement could create hundreds of jobs over the next decade, as there were plans to redevelop a neighbouring collection of former mill buildings, known as the Weavers' Triangle, as a result.

Lancashire County Council's Tim Ashton said the rail link was "our number one priority in terms of improving rail transport in the county in response to the needs of our communities".

"Reinstating the Todmorden Curve is vital for boosting jobs and economic growth in this part of Lancashire," he added.

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