Will Skipton track ever come back?

The campaign to reopen the railway line all the way through to Skipton would appear to have gained a little momentum with several leading politicians, both national and regional, appearing to be in favour of it.

For everyone in our part of East Lancashire, reinstating the 11.5mile stretch of line would open up a whole new set of travel options.

And I would welcome it for a variety of reasons.

Unfortunately, however, I regard the latest news with a little cynicism and can’t help but wonder if it will ever happen.

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Twelve months ago the talk on everyone’s lips as far as transport was concerned was the possibility of a bypass to ease traffic congestion through Colne and make moving through East Lancashire a much more enjoyable experience for drivers at the wheel of vehicles of all shapes and sizes.

But nothing seems to have happened for months and we are still waiting to see if, and when, the first stretch of tarmac will be laid around Colne.

A lot will be determined by traffic surveys and the responses of people who currently use the heavily-congested routes through Colne.

And that is what makes me fearful for the proposals for the railway line.

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One of my regular commutes takes me into Nelson at tea-time and on several occasions I have waited at the level crossing I still call Chaffers Sidings for the 17-23 from Colne to Preston to go through.

Anyone who read last week’s column will know that I like counting things when idling away a few moments waiting for the green light to proceed.

And so I have been counting the number of passengers on said train.

On one occasion there was just one passenger on a peak-time train.

The most I have counted is six.

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And that makes me think that we are likely to get little future investment in the East Lancashire Line if so few people currently want to use it.

Prove you want it and the reopening may happen.

But as things stand the demand would not apear to match the campaign.