Commuter rail proposals could hit ELR operations

A RAIL feasibility study by the Centre for Economic and Business Research, which has been sent to Barry White the chief executive of Transport for the North, suggests that a significant amount of road traffic could be reduced around Manchester if rail services are reintroduced north of Bury in Rossendale, writes Jonathan Webb.
The report claims Manchester has the worst road congestion of any city in the UK outside of London and that Rossendale is the only borough in Lancashire without a main line rail link. The only problem is it would have to use the route currently used by the East Lancashire Railway heritage line.
A survey carried out in 2011 revealed that nearly 7000 residents commuted from Rossendale to Greater Manchester, with their destinations including Bury, Rochdale, Salford and Manchester. Of these journeys, 93% of those to Bury were made by car.
Residents commuting from Bury amounted to 23,195 with most destined for Manchester, Salford and Rochdale. In total 1281 were recorded as commuting to Rossendale, with 91% making the journey by car and 4% by bus.

Read more in the January issue of Rail Express on sale now.

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