Clitheroe - Hellifield : proposal details
MPs and local authorities were invited to bid for a share of the Restoring Your Railway “Ideas Fund” to help reconnect communities across the country, levelling up opportunities for people in isolated areas by increasing their access to jobs and training which will be crucial as the country recovers from coronavirus.
Ribble Valley Borough Council together with our MP Nigel Evans submitted a bid for the Clitheroe - Hellifield Line and on 23rd May Grant Shapps announced that ten bids, including Ribble Valley’s, were approved to receive a share of £500,000 to develop proposals to build or reopen/railway lines and stations, including those closed following the Beeching cuts of the 1960s.
Broadly, it is a composite bid for the (Manchester, Blackburn) - Clitheroe to Hellifield line with three main service options:
Extend the Rochdale - Blackburn terminating service to Clitheroe with possibly some to Hellifield and beyond
Introduce new Preston to Clitheroe with possibly some to Hellifield and beyond
An enhanced DalesRail service
If the service terminates at Hellifield then new infrastructure will be required at Hellifield station, which will need to be factored into the next stage appraisal to avoid the need to turn trains at Settle Junction.
The next stage will see a virtual meeting with the DfT and the development of a business case for the above options following the Government appraisal methodology. The case for any of the above will most likely rest on the Wider Economic Benefits of the project i.e. does it support new housing and/or economic developments as well as providing
enhanced or new connections.