Bradford-Halifax Tunnel Cycleway Campaign

Discussion in 'Advocacy and Cycling Safety' started by mjr, 4 Jan 2018.

  1. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next says that Highways England are about to spend £3.5m vandalising an old railway tunnel rather than spend £4.3m to recycle it into part of the national cycle network. Sustrans reckon it would deliver £37.6m of benefits over 30 years. HE commissioned a report that claimed it would cost £35m to convert it... so even when they tried their worst, they couldn't make a loss and the gap between £4.3m and £35m is surprisingly massive.

    Any Yorkshire readers of this part of the campaign or got a view on what's going on there?
  2. DCLane

    DCLane Found in the Yorkshire hills ...

    This has been a slow burn campaign, but is gaining a bit of momentum. There are some challenges, including a very waterlogged Halifax end:


    The problem appears to be with the councils: it'll take Calderdale and Bradford working together to get it done. And whilst the Queensbury end is fairly intact there are collapses along the tunnel together with flooding.


    I hope they're able to get this done. There's a tunnel near me which was closed for over 50 years and has opened up the greenway between Dewsbury and Wakefield. Critics commented that it would cause trouble; in reality the route is massively used by locals walking / cycling.
    Donger, classic33, colly and 4 others like this.
  3. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

    Calderdale Council want no part of it. Two of the local Ward, where it enters Halifax, councillors are activly against it being opened.

    The continuation of the route, once within Calderdale will cross three wards. Emerging at Box Hill before crossing the valley to Pellon.

    It's the route of the L&YR high level railway that went to St. Pauls.
    Last edited: 4 Jan 2018
  4. I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this....

    Not heard of this case before but it can/has certainly been done for other tunnels in the past. The big issue will be establishing the true condition of the tunnel and any remedial works required just to make the structure sound before there is even any thought of making it a pleasant and useable route. My suspicion is that the cost will fall somewhere well above the campaigners £4.3m, but inside the worst case projection of £35m (conveniently 10 times the £3.5m, lets just fill it in and forget about it, walk away cost!).
    This IS NOT going to be a simple case of installing some drainage, a bit of tarmac and some lighting. The tunnel has got several sites that are structurally severely compromised and this is probably indicative of the tunnels overall condition given the lack of care it has received for the last 6 decades, including being left completely flooded for a number of years. The campaigners ride-through video conveniently skips over the issue of the current condition with a rather fluffy 'won't it be nice' approach.
    I can understand the reluctance of local authorities and government bodies to take on the re-opening using the budget facelift method proposed by the Queensbury Tunnel Society. If it was actually possible to re-open the tunnel for that amount it would then rather commit the involved parties to almost unquantifiable future repair costs for a tunnel that appears to be on the edge of structural failure.
    classic33 and mjr like this.
  5. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

    Figure of £3·7 million required to re-open it as a cycleway in June 2017, Deputy Leader of the council(Also Ward councillor).

    "It's just not worth it." This from the same person who wants cyclists off the roads as "they're not safe for cyclists".

    So many different figures being thrown around on this.
  6. NorthernDave

    NorthernDave Never used Über Member

    Some urbex pics taken in the tunnel 7 years ago: - judge the condition yourself and remember there are another 7 years of virtually no maintenance to factor in

    It would be great to see it open, and it could provide a continuation of the Leeds-Bradford Cycle Super Highway on to Keighley and to Halifax, although it would be a very hilly route and not the most direct - but it would all be away from traffic and a fantastic tourist attraction.

    The problem seems to be a lack of will on behalf of the councils (Calderdale seem very anti-cyclist to be honest), the lake at the Halifax end and a report that's already on Whitehall desks saying it's going to fall down and needs closing...despite what the campaigners might say.
    classic33 likes this.
  7. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

    The Halifax end is on a list of sites for housing developments.

    The Shay Lane route of the railway has been built on in many places. Head on what was the High Level Railway, and you've already got housing at the old brewery site. Whilst the land above Box Hill Tunnel is being sold for redevelopment by the council.

    Bradford to Keighley, going out that way, I'd want to stick to the road. Railway used to come out at Ingrow.
  8. NorthernDave

    NorthernDave Never used Über Member

  9. OP

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Missing the "to" out of the web address completely changed the meaning! But still fairly good.
    NorthernDave likes this.
  10. NorthernDave

    NorthernDave Never used Über Member

    I know what you mean!

    If they can save the tunnel and sort it out as a cycle route I'd definitely ride it, hills or no hills.
    classic33 and mjr like this.
  11. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

  12. NorthernDave

    NorthernDave Never used Über Member

  13. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

  14. classic33

    classic33 Legendary Member

  15. NorthernDave

    NorthernDave Never used Über Member

    mjr, classic33 and Littgull like this.
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