Anger at omission of Calder Valley line from electrification list (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Anger at omission of Calder Valley line from electrification list
8:00am Wednesday 18th December 2013 in News
The omission of the Calder Valley line from a Government priority list for railway electrification has sparked an angry response.
Councillor Val Slater, portfolio holder for planning, housing and transport, said the decision “beggars belief”.
The Calder Valley line runs from Leeds to Manchester, via Bradford and Brighouse – a route that Coun Slater says is of major economic importance.
But it is not under consideration by a Department for Transport task force that is looking at extending electrification in the north of England.
On Monday, West Yorkshire transport body Metro said it was continuing to push for electrification of railway lines into Bradford after plans for two other routes in the region received positive feed-back from the government.
Transport authority chairman Coun James Lewis welcomed news the DfT is to consider electrification of the Leeds, Harrogate, York and Sheffield rail lines into West Yorkshire.
But he said he would also like to see the Caldervale line, linking Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Rochdale, Blackpool and Manchester, added to the list.
Coun Slater (Lab, Royds) said: “The route is of major strategic importance to our local and regional economy and it beggars belief that the Government appears to deem it unworthy of consideration. Excluding Calder Valley is a short-sighted decision with potentially damaging long-term consequences for the communities which line its route, including Bradford.
”Investment in infrastructure helps to bring the jobs and growth that Bradford needs. Faster, better quality transport connections with other major northern cities and towns through electrification would bring significant economic benefits to the district.
“Leaving out the Calder Valley is a huge missed opportunity for local people and businesses. It makes you wonder if Whitehall really understands or cares about what Bradford needs to prosper.”
Coun Tim Swift, leader of Calderdale Council, said: “It is almost unbelievable that the Calder Valley route from Leeds to Manchester via Bradford and Brighouse is not included on the list, particularly when another equally complex cross-Pennine route, that from Sheffield to Manchester, is. It may of course simply be an accidental omission but if this is so it needs correcting without delay.
“We believe that Calder Valley electrification has got to happen.
“It is an absolutely logical strategic development following on from completion of TransPennine electrification via Huddersfield.”
Comments are closed on this article.