ONE of the region’s most historic waterway tunnels has been honoured with accredited status from the Transport Trust.

Standedge Tunnel, one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways, has been awarded a Red Wheel plaque in recognition of its status as the longest, highest and deepest canal tunnel in Britain.

The new plaque was presented by the Transport Trust and unveiled by Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney at a ceremony during Standedge’s July Bicentenary Family Fun Day.

The plaque will appear on the Grade II listed Tunnel Cottages, providing a fitting tribute for the 200-year-old engineering masterpiece.

The Red Wheel programme commemorates Britain’s rich and globally important legacy in the development of transport and supplies explanatory markers for sites of significance – locations ranging from Roman roads and early tramways to seaplane and hovercraft bases.

Judy Jones, heritage advisor for British Waterways, explains: “Standedge Tunnel is one of the finest examples of civil engineering on the waterways and an iconic site even after all these years. It’s important that we acknowledge our working heritage so we’re really pleased that it has been recognised by the Transport Trust. It’s amazing to think that visitors from all around the country are still able to take a trip deep into Standedge Tunnel after the first boats went through over 200 years ago.”

At 5,029 metres long, Standedge Tunnel runs under the Pennines from Marsden through to Diggle. It was originally expected to take six years to complete, but ended up taking 16 years.