A campaign to re-open a crumbling rail tunnel for cyclists has stepped up a gear.

A group of residents is pressing for the re-opening of the Queensbury Tunnel, which 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 Culling-worth has been transformed into a bike trail by sustainable transport group Sustrans.

Stretches of the tunnel are under water – flooded due to a blockage at one side.

But, along with Sustrans, the group has proposed that the tunnel be brought back into use as an underground pedestrian and cycleway – which would be the longest of its kind in Europe.

The campaigners have created a new website so people can see all the information about the tunnel at a glance and to drum up support.

And with the Tour de France’s Yorkshire leg fewer than 100 days away, there is hope that the spotlight on Yorkshire cycling could help make the plans a reality.

Norah McWilliam, one of the team behind the tunnel proposals, said: “There are a lot of things happening behind the scenes and we’re talking to different people about it at the moment.

“We really hope the Tour de France helps us move things forward.”

The website can be accessed at queensburytunnel.org.uk/index.shtml.