Transport Minister Robert Goodwill visited Queensbury near Bradford today (June 23) where locals are trying to save a disused railway tunnel for future use as a cycle path.

The structure, one and a half miles in length, is due to undergo repair work to safeguard a number of properties built alongside its five ventilation shafts, but there are fears that the design solution might involve filling parts of the tunnel with mass concrete plugs. Campaigners are hoping that the Department for Transport will instruct the Highways Agency, which owns the tunnel, to engineer its works so that a through route can be maintained.

“We need to see what we can do to try and capitalise on this fantastic asset and ensure that it isn’t lost to future generations,” said Mr Goodwill.

Part of the tunnel is currently flooded, with waters reaching a depth of 30 feet at the south portal. The intention is to pump the water out over the summer in advance of a full structural survey being carried out which will determine what form the remedial works take.

Report by Graeme Bickerdike