Study into M65 and Colne Bypass is making progress

Andrew Stephenson MP
Andrew Stephenson MP

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson has welcomed progress on a transport study that is aiming to break the 'bottleneck' on the borough's roads.

Mr Stephenson secured a £300,000 Highways England study into how to address the problems on roads where the M65 ends at Colne.

In connection to this, and ongoing efforts to secure the reopening of the Skipton to Colne rail line, Mr Stephenson invited former Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to Pendle earlier this year to discuss the plans.

Mr Stephenson said: "Fixing the problems with our transport infrastructure - both road and rail - is my top priority. Poor transport connections mean that we suffer from a poor rail service and daily congestion. The long term failure to address this continues to hold Pendle's economy back.

"I am pleased to confirm that the study is making progress and is due to report early in the New Year. This will mark an important step towards agreeing how we solve the congestion caused by the motorway ending where is does.

"Unlike previous studies, which have raised expectations only to be kicked into the long grass, this is fully backed and funded by central government who have demonstrated that they understand the economic benefits for the wider region of having a fast, reliable trans-Pennine East-West route running through Pendle.

"I look forward the the Highways England study reporting early in 2020 and will be pushing for quick progress once their recommendations are known, as well as assurances that all Pendle residents are kept informed of and consulted on proposals.

"Meanwhile, the county council is progressing with preparations on plans to improve the traffic flow on Vivary Way. I have asked for an urgent update on this work."

A county council meeting in January found that Colne was the 'congestion capital' of the county, while in July it was announced that a further £398m. is being provided to local authorities for road repairs and congestion easing across our road networks.