CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

Ribble Valley Service Improvements Get Boost

CRL is delighted that the project to improve services on the Ribble Valley line is one of the first tranche to be given the go ahead by the DfT to move to the next stage. The bid was submitted by Ribble Valley Borough Council using the DfT’s recently launched Ideas Fund which is part of the £500m ‘Restoring Your Railway Fund’.

Welcoming the success Richard Watts, Chair of CRL commented: “This is great news for the Ribble Valley Line and CRL was delighted to have been able to help in the development of this successful application. The bid has put forward a series of service developments which if implemented would see more trains along Ribble Valley Line all the way to Hellifield and maybe beyond.”

A busy DalesRail service at Kirkby Stephen – the iconic service from Lancashire & the Ribble Valley to the Settle Carlisle Line (Richard Watts)

Richard continued “The project builds on the successful restoration of trains to Clitheroe in 1994 and the iconic DalesRail service which helped to save the line north of Clitheroe to Hellifield and scenic Settle Carlisle line. I look forward to working with RVBC, the railway industry and partners to develop a really great business case.”

Marjorie Birch, Chair of Ribble Valley Rail, the user group for the line, said: “I was delighted to hear that the bid, submitted, by Ribble Valley Borough Council, to the  Restoring Your Railway ‘Ideas Fund’ had been successful in the first round.  RVR have always supported any developments on the line north of Clitheroe. For many years we have had the Sunday DalesRail in the summer to Carlisle and the introduction of the Ribble Valley Rambler, in the winter, has provided an opportunity to travel on Sundays to Hellifield.”

Marjorie went on to say; “The next stage in the process is to develop a business case, which will look at the economic benefits of providing additional services. This is a project that we must actively support which, if successful, will provide links for passengers to Skipton and Leeds and north to Carlisle.”

Ribble Valley Borough Council Leader, Stephen Atkinson, said; “This is tremendous news . It will be a huge boost to the borough, worth tens of millions of pounds to the local economy and East Lancashire as a whole, by improving east to west connectivity.”

Stephen continued: “The main infrastructure is already in place and the Clitheroe to Hellifield line is in good condition, which gives us a great start. Many local enthusiasts and community groups have dreamed of, and worked hard for, this moment for many years.”

To read the full RVBC press release click this link: NR280520 – Clitheroe to Hellifield

To read the full press release issued by the Department for Transport click the link below: