AN MP has backed a campaign to boost the weekday train service connecting the Bolton to a prosperous rural market town.

Sir David Crausby believes that doubling the frequency of trains between Blackburn and Clitheroe to two an hour would be good news for Great Manchester's commuters.

Lancashire County Council is now working with Transport for the North and the Rail North Partnership to develop a business case for the timetable upgrade.

Train operator Northern has given a cautious welcome to the move.

In December 2017 a new half-hourly weekday service was introduced between Manchester and Bolton to Blackburn.

But the route on to Clitheroe and the tourist honeypot of the Ribble Valley was left at just one an hour.

Bolton North-East Labour MP Sir David said: "I absolutely support this campaign.

"It would be good news for people commuting into Bolton from Clitheroe, especially during the cattle-truck madness of rush hour.

"It would get people out of their cars and be good for the environment.

"Two trains an hour on from Blackburn would also make it easier for people from Bolton to go for a day out in the beautiful Ribble Valley countryside."

Cllr Andrew Snowden, Lancashire County Council transport boss said: "A new half-hourly service is important in enabling Ribble Valley residents to commute more easily to Manchester, Blackburn and Bolton and for their residents to come to the borough for tourism and recreation."

Chris Jackson, regional director for Northern, said: "We echo the commitment to make this line the best it can be and are working hard to improve journey opportunities."