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The Bentham Line: Building Back Better

Major New Development Study announced into the potential of the whole route from Leeds to Morecambe and Heysham Port

The Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership (LMCRP) is looking in detail into the future of The Bentham Line. The Partnership is pleased to announce it has commissioned a new study to evaluate the use of the line and its potential to development as a trans-pennine route serving communities between Leeds and Bradford and the coast at Morecambe and Heysham. Find out more here.

Our public survey can be accessed here.

Public Survey

The Bentham Line
A Dementia-Friendly Railway

A unique railway linking Leeds, Lancaster and Morecambe, with beautiful views of river valleys, Pennine peaks and forest.

One of the earliest in Britain, the Bentham Line is making modern-day history as the first railway to actively support the journeys of people living with dementia. The 75-mile route travels through the heart of West Yorkshire into Lancashire passing through the Aire, Ribble, Wenning and Lune valleys.

It’s an inspiring journey against a backdrop of the Dales, the Yorkshire Three Peaks, and the Forest of Bowland with Morecambe Bay and its stunning seascapes on arrival.

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The Bentham Line Guide

Download leaflet here
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The Bentham Line route

Leeds – Morecambe / Heysham Port via Skipton, Bentham & Lancaster.

A route guide to the stations and places of interest along The Bentham Line.

Download Map Here

The ‘Little North Western’ is a gem of a line.

Travel along one of the earliest railway lines in Britain (originally opened June 1850) as you make the spectacular 75-mile (120 km) trans-pennine journey from the heart of West Yorkshire, through the beautiful Aire, Ribble, Wenning and Lune valleys, passing pennine peaks, Yorkshire Dales National Park, and skirting the Forest of Bowland AONB before reaching the picturesque shores of Morecambe Bay.

Stations to Explore

Support for the vulnerable

An estimated 850,000 people live with dementia in the UK today (1.3 per cent). This figure is predicted to exceed 1 million by 2025, and 2 million by 2050. There are currently 700,000 informal carers supporting those with dementia, and this is expected to rise to 1.7 million by 2050.

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A look back through our history

The line had been built by the North Western Railway Company (always known as the ‘Little North Western’ to distinguish it from the much bigger and grander London and North Western Railway). The Leeds & Bradford Railway had been extended from Shipley to Colne, and from a junction at Skipton the North Western line curved away to the north.

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The Bentham Line Community Rail Partnership has been awarded accreditation by the Department for Transport. Recognising that the partnership operates to a high standard and that its objectives and activities are supported by the Government.

Latest News

Press releases, latest News and updates from The Bentham Line Community Rail Partnership.

I’m thinking this summer morning that there can hardly be a cheerier railway on the network. My packed 10.49 train from Lancaster to Leeds is positively buzzing , with the chatter of a party of children returning from a school trip in the Lake District and the gossip of shoppers off to market day in Skipton to buy local delicacies such as home-made parkin and Yorkshire curd tart.

Author and Journalist Michael Wenn-Williams
Jools Townsend

The Bentham Line is demonstrating exactly what community rail is all about – reaching out to local people, drawing on their perspectives, and helping to ensure their needs are understood and met at stations and through train travel.

Speaking at the launch of the Dementia and Community Rail project at Bentham station.

Jools Townsend, Chief Executive of the Community Rail Network
Peter Wilkinson

We often think of railways as just a mode of transport; a means to an end. Our railways are so much more than that; they are the lifeblood of our communities and an important way to bring people together. Our communities are everything and the Bentham Line’s dementia-friendly project is a fine example reflecting this.

Speaking as guest of honour at the train naming ceremony at Leeds station.

Peter Wilkinson,Managing Director of Passenger Services at the Department for Transport

Can I thank you and your colleagues on behalf of the Dementia-Friendly Skipton members  for a really enjoyable day yesterday going to and spending time at Morecambe. Everyone mentioned how welcome you made us feel, nothing was too much trouble. All your colleagues working at the Bentham Line are a credit and you have every right to feel truly proud of what you have and are achieving. Please pass on our thanks and appreciation to all involved. ps And somehow you managed to arrange the lovely weather – thank you.

Following the group’s journey and day out to Morecambe.

Barry Jones, Dementia-Friendly Skipton
The pupils and staff have thoroughly enjoyed all the activities and we are all grateful for the time and genuine kindness shown by the LMCRP’s staff.

Speaking at the the unveiling of the pupils’ rail safety artwork at Clapham station.

Adam Kay, Head of School, Clapham Community Primary School
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