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Railways: Todmorden

Volume 508: debated on Monday 22 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport with reference to his contribution of 15 October 2009, Official Report, columns 547-48, on the Todmorden rail link, what recent assessment he has made of the prospects for a fast direct train link from Burnley to Manchester via the Todmorden curve; and if he will make a statement. (323001)

The Department for Transport has had recent discussions with the scheme promoters, Network Rail and Northern Rail about the provision of a direct service between Burnley and Manchester via a reinstated curve at Todmorden. It has been confirmed that such a scheme is feasible, but it would require capital funding of around £7 million for the reinstatement of the Todmorden Curve and it is most likely that ongoing subsidy would be required at least in the early years.

The promoters are aware that both capital and initial ongoing subsidy costs of the scheme have to be funded through local and regional funding sources. The Government provide funding to the region through the regional funding allocation so that they can decide what projects should be given priority from the resources available. Once implemented, if the scheme demonstrates its success after three years then the Department for Transport would consider funding the service as part of the national rail network, subject to funds being available in the period 2014-19 (control period 5).