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Video series aims to reignite campaign to put cycle path through disused railway tunnel

Campaigners are hoping a new social media video series will draw more public support to their plan to reopen a disused railway tunnel in West Yorkshire as a cycle path.

The Queensbury Tunnel Society has produced a collection of filmed interviews to promote the tunnel’s history and the benefits of the project.

Supporters have been campaigning since 2014 for the disused tunnel, which was built by the Great Northern Railway between 1874 and 1878 on the Halifax, Thornton & Keighley Railway, to be reopened as a cycle path.

Queensbury Tunnel opened in 1878 and closed to traffic in 1956. At almost 2.3 km, it would become the longest tunnel in the UK, and one of the longest in Europe, to host a shared-use path.

However, the society has been battling to save Queensbury Tunnel since Highways England’s Historical Railways Estate (HRE), which looks after the structure for the Department for Transport (DfT), announced plans to infill parts of the tunnel.

Norah McWilliam, leader of the Queensbury Tunnel Society, says: “We’re working hard to promote our vision of the tunnel as a feat of Victorian engineering that still has a valuable role to play in the 21st century. These videos will help us, through the insight of friends who share the vision. It’s a complex story with lots of sub-plots, but we have to unravel them before it’s too late.

“There’s no going back if, in 20 years, we suddenly see the need for a cycle path connecting the Calder and Aire valleys. No amount of regret will shift all that concrete or the damage inflicted by time.”

Images: Forgotten Relics

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