Reopening Queensbury Tunnel

In West Yorkshire, the campaign to reopen a disused railway tunnel as part of an ambitious cycle network is approaching a critical point with the completion of on-site investigations by engineers acting for Bradford Council. Once complete, their study will inform decision-making about the viability of repairing the tunnel - parts of which are in poor condition - and the associated costs.

Meanwhile, Highways England - which manages 3,200 disused railway structures on behalf of the Department for Transport - is progressing an abandonment scheme which will result in parts of the tunnel being infilled. Subject to planning permission, the work will start soon at a cost to the taxpayer of more than £3 million.

Last year, a Sustrans study suggested that the cycle network could generate £37.6 million in social and economic benefits over 30 years. It's generally accepted that reopening the tunnel will present significant challenges, but it's also a once-only opportunity to connect the emerging cycle networks in the Aire and Calder valleys.

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