CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a historic railway tunnel from closure have accused Highways England of “disrespect” by placing CCTV cameras at its entrance.

The Queensbury Tunnel Society (QTS) wants to see the tunnel transformed into a cycle path and has fought to halt the plans of Highways England Historical Railways Estate (HRE) - which acts as the custodian of the disused railway on behalf of the Department for Transport - to abandon the 1.4-mile long structure.

The society has been critical of Highways England throughout its well-publicised campaign and shared its horror when CCTV cameras - which warned anyone approaching that police would be called if they didn’t leave - were installed.

A video of the message was posted on the society’s Facebook page and campaigners said: “Highways England’s contractor, AMCOGiffen, has placed four CCTV cameras at the entrance to the northern approach cutting which warn anyone approaching too close that the Police will be called if they don’t immediately leave the area.

“At every possible opportunity, Highways England and its allies make the wrong choices.”

The post was met with a number of comments from people sharing their anger about the situation.

Less than a day after the outcry, campaigners said the CCTV cameras, which were mounted on a portable plinth, had been removed.

Graeme Bickerdike, engineering co-ordinator for the Queensbury Tunnel Society, said the society was pleased the CCTV cameras had now been removed, but accused Highways England of showing “disrespect” for the people who live locally and like to visit the tunnel.

“It’s embedded in Queensbury’s social history and support for its reopening as a community asset continues to grow,” he said.

A Highways England spokesperson said: “Highways England, acting on behalf of the Department for Transport as the owners of Queensbury Tunnel, is currently undertaking safety work which will provide partial strengthening of the most vulnerable areas of the tunnel and which will also provide a safe working zone throughout the tunnel for any future work undertaken.

“This work is being undertaken in accordance with the legal rights associated with historic sales of land at both portals.”

Bradford Council says it continues to work with key stakeholders to look at the tunnel’s future.

A spokesperson said: “The detailed technical report from AECOM has now been received and a better understanding of the challenges facing this project has been identified.

“A report on the potential options for the Council going forward will be considered early in the new year.”

AMCOGiffen declined to comment.