Affectionately known as the Ribble Valley Line this community rail line links the regional centre of Manchester with the delightful market town of Clitheroe. Used by hundreds of commuters every day this inter-urban line passes through some of the most scenic parts of Lancashire.
On departing Manchester the line follows the Irwell Valley to Bolton and then climbs over the West Pennine Moors to reach Entwistle and the former cotton towns of Darwen and Blackburn. From Blackburn the line enters the Ribble Valley to reach Clitheroe with excellent views towards Longridge Fell, the Yorkshire Dales and Pendle Hill.
There is much to see and do along the line. For example, why not try the Elephant Walk at Bolton or visit Hall I’ Th’ Wood to see the delightful 16th century half timbered hall that once was the home of Samuel Crompton, inventor of the Spinning Mule. If you are more energetic try one of the walks passing by Entwistle, the gateway to the West Pennine Moors or from Clitheroe, the gateway to the Ribble Valley and the Forest of Bowland.
On winter Sundays the Ribble Valley Rambler and on summer Sundays DalesRail provides the only timetabled service to link Clitheroe with Hellifield and the scenic Settle – Carlisle line.
The Clitheroe Line has a community rail partnership (the Clitheroe Line CRP) and has been granted designation by the Department for Transport under the Government’s Community Rail Strategy.
The Clitheroe Line Community Rail Partnership (CLCRP) has a joint management group with the East Lancashire Community Rail Partnership (ELCRP) and this meets every two months. The group consists of officers and representatives from Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, Ribble Valley Borough Council, Arriva Rail North, Network Rail and the British Transport Police. The group also has a representatives from each of the following; Ribble Valley Rail and the Friends of Pendle Stations.
The Department for Transport’s designation process requires that every community rail partnership (CRP) with a designated line and/or service maintains paperwork including a Route Prospectus, Terms of Reference, and an annual Action Plan, that is reviewed and amended as appropriate. Each CRP is also asked to produce an Annual Report of its activities. To view the paperwork for the Clitheroe Line CRP click the link.