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From Keighley News, 5th November 2017
Written by Alastair Shand

SUPPORT is growing for the reopening of a rail link which would give Keighley passengers a direct route into Lancashire. A top-level meeting has been staged in the Commons to debate the proposed Skipton to Colne line. Keighley MP John Grogan co-chaired the event. 

Among those present were senior local authority representatives from Bradford, Lancashire and North Yorkshire, business leaders and rail bosses.

A presentation was given by the Skipton-East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership (SELRAP).

Mr Grogan said: "For about £100 million and eleven-and-a-half miles of new track, the nation could achieve a new trans-Pennine rail link which is obviously a relatively small sum when compared with the costs of high-speed rail.

"The presence of so many businesses at the meeting shows the potential for increased freight traffic.

"Passengers at Keighley and Skipton would also have the chance to travel directly to towns in East Lancashire, and beyond to Manchester Airport and Manchester.

"Following the meeting, I am confident that the scheme will feature in the Transport of North Plan to be published in January.

"The task then will be to persuade the Government to fund it in the period 2020 to 2025."

Also at the meeting was South Craven MP Julian Smith.

He thanked his ministerial colleague, Colne MP Andrew Stephenson, for co-hosting it.

And Mr Smith added: "I would like to pay tribute to SELRAP for the great work it has done over the past years in campaigning for the reopening of this line.

"It was clear from the various businesses and organisations at the meeting that there is strong support for this scheme.

"I have already had a range of conversations about the reopening of the Skipton to Colne line with my colleagues in the Department for Transport and I will continue to offer the project my support."