A SUCCESSFUL campaign by a tunnel society in Wales who aim to convert a disused rail line into the longest underground cycle path in Europe could be a big boost for a group wanting to create a similar greenway in Bradford.

A two-mile long tunnel in the Rhondda valley in Wales was shut down along with dozens of other lines in the 1960s.

After the Government announced earlier this year that it would halt destruction of former railway lines, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said the Rhondda Tunnel project can continue and will hand over control to Welsh ownership.

This announcement has come as a big boost for the Queensbury Tunnel Society, who would like to use the tunnel to link a greenway between Bradford and Halifax.

"We're really pleased for them," said Norah McWilliam, of the Queensbury Tunnel Society. "Some people from their group have come to visit our tunnel and we've visited their tunnel.

"Their's is the longest underground tunnel in Europe but we're presenting ours as the longest underground tunnel in England.

"It's a mile-and-a-half long and would make a great centrepiece of a greenway between Bradford and Halifax.

"The tunnel does need some serious work, particularly in the middle of it, but its potential as a green route would be fantastic for two urban centres and would be a great opportunity for local businesses."

Norah explained that the tunnel goes underneath Queensbury and runs from what used to Queensbury Station to Holm Field in Halifax.

She said: "The tunnel would be an amazing feature on Bradford's landscape and it would be nice feature away from all of Queensbury's horrible traffic."

She sees the potential to put Queensbury in the same situation as the Rhondda Tunnel.

"But we're battling against a negative mindset. The Government wants to see these tunnels as liabilities, but we see them as assets.

"We need to make use of features likes these. As a greenway it would be a great opportunity for families to explore local landscapes. It's really exciting."

Norah also talked about the idea of using the tunnel to host sporting events.

She mentioned how the Two Tunnels Greenway at Bath and Bristol hosts running events.

"The Two Tunnel route there is very successful," said Norah. "Running events bring people to the area, which would be great for communities around Queensbury like Clayton, Thornton, Fairweather Green and Girlington."