TORIES and Labour have clashed over who was responsible for securing the £20 million Clitheroe to Manchester rail line upgrade.

Conservative spokesman John Pearson said the coalition government should have credit for the scheme which will bring half hourly services through the day to Blackburn and Darwen.

The former rail engineer highlighted 13 years of delay to the project and the £50 million Pennine Reach bus scheme to bring two new bus stations and faster journey times to Blackburn, Darwen, Accrington and Hyndburn.

His motion to ‘applaud’ Tory Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin for approving the project was amended by Labour’s Phil Riley.

His proposal congratulated ‘all parties concerned’ for working ‘on a cross-party basis’ in securing the vital investments.

Coun Riley went on to call for improved rolling stock and ‘studies to be conducted on the possible electrification of the Bolton to Clitheroe line, once capacity for electrification becomes available.”