LETTER: Being a rail buff isn’t enough reason for opening Colne-Skipton railway

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Thank you for including my letter about the Colne-Skipton railway in last week’s edition.

After reading the report “Campaign on the right track”, I should like to make a few points.

First of all, I’m glad the double walk went well for Selrap’s 10th anniversary, but I can’t recall seeing dozens of people coming pass my house. Perhaps I had just popped back inside to make a cup of tea!

With regards to the urgent need for a major assessment of the viability of the project, am I correct in saying that in the North West, the Regional Funding Association is fully committed up to 2019?

Therefore unless funding miraculously appears from elsewhere, the true cost of the project will be well in excess of the £90m. quoted by that time, and that there are other rail schemes in the North -West which are seeking funding, so which project will be the priority?

Our MP, Andrew Stephenson, says he has to drive to Skipton to get a train to Parliament, but only lives two minutes from Colne railway station. Why doesn’t he go by train from Colne to Manchester to get to London?

Mr Drew Haley, client and stakehouse manager for Northern Rail, says if he wants to go to Burnley or Blackburn from Skipton he has to get in his car. What a shame! Why can’t he go by bus?

Selrap executive member David Walsh says a trans-Pennine freight system would avoid heavy HGV traffic through places like Earby. Well it’s a pity the M65 wasn’t extended, or the Earby by-pass constructed but, of course, that’s all in the past now, isn’t it?

And North-West MEP Brian Simpson states he is a rail buff. Well, I bet the majority of Selrap members are rail buffs too, but that isn’t a good enough reason to reopen the line.

My late father was a rail buff, and he said that when the line closed the biggest mistake made was not keeping a single line open and maintained, because it would have kept the link open, and therefore there would not have been any need for a Selrap campaign, and I would not be able to object.

But now, after all these years, it appears a few people are speaking for the majority, who have not been consulted - a bit like the EU referendum, So come on Selrap, MPs, MEPs etc., do the right thing and ask the majority if they want the line to reopen.