A campaign to transform a derelict railway tunnel into one of Europe’s biggest cycle tunnels has surfaced at the doors of the Government.

The e-petition was created by a local heritage group on Friday, and lodged with the Department for Transport. Despite being active for just a few days, it already has more than 400 signatures.

The Queensbury Tunnel was built in the 1880s as part of the Great Northern Railway, which linked Keighley with Bradford and Halifax, but was shut in the 1960s.

Since 2005, much of the line between Queensbury and Cullingworth has been transformed into a bike trail by sustainable transport group Sustrans.

The tunnel is owned and operated by the Highways Agency, which some residents fear may take the easy way out and fill the tunnel, rather than restore it.

Campaigner Norah McWilliam has now submitted a petition, which says: “This magnificent piece of our industrial heritage will be a major attraction for visitors. We are not asking the Highways Agency to build the cycle route – just to keep the option open.”

The petition can be found at epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/59903.