Rail users call for new links between Huddersfield and Calder Valley

Plea to Government over better regional rail links

Hebden Bridge station - plea for a new rail link

A new rail link from Huddersfield and the Calder valley is a must.

That’s the view of a rail users’ group who have now made a plea to Government transport chiefs.

Residents of Hebden Bridge and its surrounding area want a direct train service to Huddersfield, as well as better links through Elland.

They claim existing links offer only a very long and roundabout route and that the lack of a proper service means traffic delays and congestion on roads such as the A629 Calderdale Way.

The Upper Calder Valley Renaissance Sustainable Transport Group and the Friends of Hebden Bridge Station have now made the recommendations to the Government’s current consultation on the future specification for the Northern Rail and TransPennine Rail networks.

Ms Nina Smith, the group’s Rail Issues Lead said: “Some 74% of respondents to the survey said that they would like a direct train to Huddersfield.

“it’s almost certain that many people who currently drive from the Calder Valley to Huddersfield would welcome the chance to have a quick and painless journey by train. “Many commuters work or study at Huddersfield University; others work for different employers. Currently, the only alternative to using a car for the commute are a train journey involving a change at Brighouse, Mirfield or Halifax, or a slow and uncomfortable bus ride.

“Another benefit of a through train service is that it should ease congestion on the A629 and A646 and the other routes from Calderdale to Huddersfield, thus making the journey easier for those who have no option but to drive.”

The Government is expected to earmark many millions of pounds for improved rail links across the north, including the transPennine service and the Northern Rail network.

They are currently consulting on schemes with many parties.

Ms Smith said other service improvements recommended by the group include a new station at Elland and a seven days a week daytime and evening service between Leeds and Manchester via Brighouse.

They would also like to see services extended into the evenings and Sundays and a link to Manchester Airport.

FACTFILE

Engineered by George Stephenson, the Manchester and Leeds Railway along the Calder Valley was the first trans-Pennine railway

The line opened through Hebden Bridge in October 1840 when the first station was built here

The present Grade II Listed station dates from 1892-3 and was built by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway who owned the line until 1922.

Unusually for a working main line station, it has been preserved and restored to its 19th century style and colours.

 
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