Coalition came up with money for Todmorden Curve

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As leader of Burnley Council from 2006 to 2010 and MP for Burnley since 2010 I’ve taken a close interest in the re-opening of the Todmorden Curve, which will have benefits for people in Todmorden and the Upper Calder Valley as well as my own constituents in Burnley.

So I was very interested to read Cllr David Tattersall’s letter about Labour’s role in its reopening. Pretty much the last thing my predecessor Kitty Ussher did in Parliament was to ask about the Todmorden Curve and the ministerial answer she got went little further than to disclose that the capital cost would be around £7 million. I’ve continued to work to get the funding for the re-opening, with little help from the Labour party. It has been the coalition government which has delivered the money for the re-opening of the Tod curve and I worked alongside Lib Dem Cllr Janet Battye when she was leader of Calderdale to get this delivered. After four years of a Lib Dem influenced government the connection will be open, in 13 years of a Labour government not a single piece of earth was turned or track was laid. I need to be mindful of Parliamentary protocol but I am certainly proud of the role the Coalition Government has played in delivering transport improvements for people in Todmorden. Having made my point, I am more than happy to work with all parties “over the border” in the upper Calder Valley on improving station facilities as there are ambitions for a station at Holme Chapel. Though I”m not aware of any approaches from Labour.

Gordon Birtwistle

MP for Burnley and Padiham