Holly Lynch MP has welcomed news that the Manchester-Leeds via Stalybridge railway line is to be ‘unpaused’ but highlighted the need for investment on the Calder Valley Line.
Holly commented that: “although completion dates have been pushed back, I am relieved that the Government has got electrification plans back on track after this summer’s ‘pause’ debacle.”
Focus now returns to the promised Calder Valley Line improvements. Earlier this year the Northern Electrification Task Force recommended a list of rail routes to Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport, for electrification in the rail industry’s 2019 five year plan.
The full Calder Valley Line linking Leeds with Manchester and Preston via Halifax and Bradford was top of the list in terms of economic and operational benefits. Calder Valley Line electrification could bring a significant economic boost to Halifax as well as reducing travel times and improving the frequency of services.
Yet the Yorkshire Post have recently reported that Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has “moved to temper expectations that those routes (Harrogate and Calder Valley Lines) would be next in line for investment”
Holly has pledged to campaign for the electrification of the Calder Valley Line as well as for the guaranteed delivery of a package of more minor improvements which were due to be completed by 2019 before they too were ‘paused’.
Commenting on the need for Calder Valley Line investment Holly said:
“I have tabled a written parliamentary question asking the government if and when it intends to deliver the task force’s recommendations. If Calderdale is to become part of the Northern power-house, the Government must deliver these improvements.”