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  1. ITV Report

Transport Secretary announces feasibility study into reopening of historic rail link

The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has announced funding for a study into the potential reopening of a historic rail link between Skipton and Lancashire.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling Credit: Victoria Jones/PA Wire/PA Images

The 11 and a half mile Skipton to Colne line was closed as part of the British Rail cuts of the 1970s.

The 11 and a half mile Skipton to Colne line was closed as part of the British Rail cuts of the 1970s. Credit: ITV Yorkshire

A long-running campaign to reopen it has been backed by transport groups, ports and Drax Power Station - which claims it could boost business and reduce journey times.

A feasibility study will be completed later in the year.

It will have a direct impact on improving our supply chain at Drax, allowing freight trains to travel much more quickly to the power station in North Yorkshire – reducing journey times from the Port of Liverpool to less than three hours, a journey which can take up to nine hours at the moment.

“As a nation we can benefit from a fast, efficient railway that allows more free movement of goods between manufacturers, their distribution hubs and their markets across the north of England and beyond.”

– Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO

“This announcement is very welcome, particularly considering the way the Tories have starved much of our country of the investment needed for our regions to reach their full potential. The social, economic and environmental case for expanding our rail network is clear. “Action and investment is needed. Chris Grayling and his recent predecessors have a very poor record on seeing through on their transport promises, particularly in the north. They should be judged on what they deliver, not on what they promise.”

– Andy McDonald MP, Labour's Shadow Transport Secretary