The proposals

   

 

The railway closed in 1965 and the trackbed sold to private landowners. In the intervening years Wilsden, Denholme and Thornton stations have been demolished and the sites occupied by a plant hire firm, saw mill and junior school respectively. Queensbury station has been demolished and the site part filled with inert waste, the line at High Birks Farm is being filled with inert waste at present and some bridges have been removed (Cockin Lane) or filled in (Headley Lane and Thornton Road).

Notwithstanding, sufficient infrastructure remains to enable a coherent railway trail to be built from Cullingworth to Queensbury reusing sections of the trackbed, the three celebrated viaducts (Cullingworth, Hewenden, Thornton) and passing through Well Heads Tunnel. Deviations are proposed to avoid redeveloped sections including a loop around Doe Park reservoir.

The trail as conceived in this report is 9.67km long excluding a surface footpath alternative to Well Heads Tunnel. Gentle gradients are maintained throughout until the steep rise of Station Road Queensbury.

The Proposed works are set out on 11 plans covering the journey from Cullingworth Park to Queensbury village centre. A linking route is also suggested to Clayton from Queensbury station site.

 

 
 

Map 1
   

 

The route begins at Cullingworth Park on a new path giving access to Highfield Road and Cullingworth Primary School to the north. At the south end the path joins the Halifax Road industrial estate access road and, staying outside the estateÕs security fence, ramps up to the railway in order to cross Cullingworth viaduct. An allowance has been made for lowering the track bed on the viaduct, sealing with a full width bitmac finish and surface draining to side gulleys which will follow the existing falls. (Standard bridge-deck treatment).

The section between the viaduct and Doll Lane needs to be cleared of self sown trees, reseeded and a new 2.5m path built leaving room for horses to one side. Access points are proposed to housing on the north side and to Manywells Industrial Estate on the south side. Towards Doll Lane there are opportunities to build the path above the cutting leaving the trackbed entirely free for horse riders.

Note: M&B Commercial Properties Ltd has produced new proposals for land zoned for employment on the Unitary Development Plan. Concept drawings have been prepared by Kilmartin Plowman and Partners, architects, showing housing on this site (10.62 acres), additional facilities for Parkside School and a railway trail. According to the land agent, a change of use planning application will be submitted during the next few months (2002).

 

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Map 2
   

 

The bridge at Doll Lane has been removed. Graded ramps are required down to road level.

A new path is to be constructed to the north end of Hewenden viaduct and a similar surface treatment to Cullingworth viaduct is proposed for the bridge deck at Hewenden.

Leaving the railway alignment at the south end of the viaduct the route turns west and follows the easy gradient of the adjacent field boundary in order to reach Station Road end and the bridleway leading to Glen House and Gleid Hill Drive.

Some upgrading of the bridleway is required to make it suitable for pedal cyclists.

 

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Map 3
   

 

The route follows Gleid Hill Drive (or Glen House Drive), a private road with public footpath status, to bridge 46 where it rejoins the railway formation via a graded ramp (standard bridge deck treatment). A s28 Bridleway Creation Order may be required to complete the bridleway route.

Continuing south to Whalley Lane a new path is required through woodland belonging to Buck Park Quarry and alongside the quarry access road.

The trail passes over Whalley Lane bridge (standard bridge deck treatment) and continues south on the former trackbed.

 

 

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Map 4
   

 

New path construction on the trackbed taking in fine views from the high embankment, then the route diverts east crossing three fields on a new profile in order to maintain a gentle gradient between the railway and Foster Park View Road. Approximately 780 metres of new path will need to be constructed from Whalley Lane to Foster Park View.

Links to the wider footpath network can be made for walkers at a number of points.

In the event of future redevelopment at Denholme station site, the cycleway might also continue along the railway corridor to access Station Road and the new employment/housing development.

 

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Map 5
   

 

Foster Park Road east, over the reservoir dam and onto an established bridleway. A public footpath leaves the bridleway near Kitchemere House and passes round the eastern perimeter of the reservoir turning west and crossing the railway just north of Well Heads Tunnel. This route requires the construction of a new path suitably surfaced, keeping clear of wetland and bog (800 metres approx).

From the bridleway, a linking route should be provided to allow access to Ten Yards Lane for cyclists looking for an on-road alternative route to Thornton avoiding Well Heads Tunnel.

 

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Map 6
   

Rejoining the railway the trail passes through Well Heads Tunnel (662m). New path construction is required (1km to Thornton Road), low level lighting through the tunnel, a new north portal frame and infilled refuges.

Formalise and sign existing and new footpaths which take a field edge route over the top of the tunnel as an alternative for walkers who wish to avoid the tunnel experience.

Well Heads Tunnel would join a growing list of railway tunnels reopened for the National Cycle Network including Great Oxenden Tunnel and Kellmarsh Tunnel on the Brampton Valley railway path, Northamptonshire (narrow single track unlit tunnels), and Ashbourne Tunnel, Derbyshire.

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Examples of re-opened tunnels on the National Cycle Network
 
Great Oxenden Tunnel on the Brampton Valley Railway Path, Northamptonshire. Narrow tunnel for single track railway.  
 
 
Ashbourne Tunnel on the Peak Trail, Derbyshire. Wide tunnel for twin track railway similar to Well Head Tunnel.  
 
 
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Map 7
   

 

At Thornton Road, install concrete liners through the existing bridge fill. Bradford CouncilÕs bridge engineer advises that the bridge (a brick arch with masonry spandrells), was filled in 1993 with granular fill to support a weakened arch.

The new subway should be lined up exactly with the centreline of the tunnel in order to maintain a clear view from and to the tunnel entrance.

Then continue on the railway formation to create a safe traffic free route to Thornton Primary School from the two new housing developments on the north side. Well Heads Tunnel to Thornton school is approx 1km.

 

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Map 8
   

 

New path construction is required along the southern perimeter of the school in order to reach Thornton viaduct and an important link into Thornton Village.

The school perimeter fence has been positioned on the crest of an old landfill embankment. Moving the fence lower down the embankment would reduce the impact of the palings on the landscape and allow comfortable room for path construction. Approx 300m metres of new path and repositioned fencing is required. See Section A.

The Trail crosses Thornton viaduct (274m). A full bridge deck treatment as for Cullingworth and Hewenden is proposed.

From the south side of the viaduct new path construction on the railway formation gives access to Headley Lane (260 metres). See Section B.

 

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Map 9
   

 

Headley Lane bridge has been infilled and the cutting on the south approach is currently being infilled by the landowner. We have allowed for ramped access from Headley Lane on both sides, but re-exposing the bridge and taking the trail under Headley Lane may be practical. It would certainly provide an easier route for horse riders.

New path construction from Headley Lane to Cockin Lane follows the gentle contours of the re-landscaped railway after completion of landfill consents in August 2003 (approx 825 metres).

The Cockin Lane railway bridge has been demolished and this fast road needs to be crossed at grade. The CouncilÕs Highways Unit will advise on speed calming and appropriate signing.

 

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Map 10
   

 

From Cockin Lane (Map 9) to Station Road the Trail follows the contours of the landfilled railway cutting to Brow Lane, crossing the existing bridge and ramping down to the lane (500 metres new path construction).

From Brow Lane bridge to Station Road the path passes through the former Queensbury Railway Junction after completion of site restoration (approx 300 metres new path construction).

A second path follows the old railway toward Clayton Tunnel climbing comfortably on slightly re-profiled and re-landscaped landfill, enabling cyclists to reach Brow Lane near its summit and onward to Clayton.

 

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Map 11
   

 

Station Road Queensbury is a private access road poorly maintained. Any upgrading should be carefully managed in order to avoid increased vehicle usage.

 

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