Securing a beneficial future for Queensbury Tunnel

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It’s not easy to see Queensbury Tunnel as more than just a grotty Victorian relic, but we hope you’ll help us realise our positive vision for it.

Built in the 1870s to take a railway from Halifax to Bradford and Keighley, this historic engineering work - almost 1½ miles long - has been redundant for the past 60 years, leaving parts of it in poor condition. But if repaired, the tunnel could play a central role in a future cycle path network - when finances allow - linking communities to the west of Bradford.

However, without Ministerial intervention, it will have been put beyond use before then as a result of abandonment plans being progressed by its custodian, Highways England’s Historical Railways Estate (HRE). The cost of that work will be more than £5 million - funded by us, the taxpayer. We’ll get nothing back for that expenditure; it’s just money poured into a black hole.

There is an alternative though. In the summer of 2016, a specialist engineering team developed a proposal which would see the tunnel proportionately transformed from a liability into an asset, ensuring Queensbury Tunnel could double our investment over time through social, environmental, health and economic benefits.

Bradford and Calderdale councils are supportive of the cycle path proposal; however we are not seeking any funds from their coffers - we just want the money already allocated to abandonment to be spent in a way that isn’t destructive. Our aim is to secure the tunnel for future reuse, delivering maximum benefit and value for that £5 million. It’s about the legacy we leave for future generations.

It’s now or never for Queensbury Tunnel; HRE started preparatory works in October 2018. Abandonment itself requires planning permission but, if granted, the opportunities presented by the tunnel will be lost forever. There is no going back.

We are asking the Department for Transport and Highways England to suspend the abandonment work whilst stakeholders carry out a broad assessment of the tunnel’s great potential and its associated challenges.

Please sign if you share our vision. And, when you've done so, could you also please OBJECT to Highways England's planning application for abandonment. You can do this via Bradford Council's planning portal at www.tiny.cc/TunnelPlans Make sure you record your 'Stance' as 'Object'.

Many thanks.

More information about the tunnel campaign is available on our website.