BROADCASTER and former senior politician Michael Portillo has added his voice to the campaign to reopen a rail link which would provide a direct route from Keighley into Lancashire.

The presenter of the popular BBC series, Great British Railway Journeys, has pledged to feature a reopened Skipton-Colne line in the programme.

Campaigners have long been calling for the 12-mile route, which closed in 1970, to be restored.

Pressure is being spearheaded by SELRAP, the Skipton-East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership.

The group is holding its annual general meeting at Colne Municipal Hall on Monday, March 14, at 7pm. Anyone is welcome to attend.

Guest speaker will be Mike Smith, from Network Rail, who will talk about the Restore Your Railways programme.

There will also be campaign updates from group executive members.

"Reopening the line would be of huge benefit in connecting communities across the north of England," said a SELRAP spokesperson.

"When Michael Portillo said during a question-and-answer session at an event that he would take a journey on our line when it reopens and include this in one of his programmes, there was spontaneous applause from the audience! We have given him a copy of our At a Glance magazine."