CAMPAIGNERS battling to safeguard the future of a disused railway tunnel say they are still waiting to see a report from a feasibility study announced three years ago.

The Queensbury Tunnel Society has fought for a decade to save the Victorian feat of engineering, with the aim of it being revived as the centrepiece of a foot and cycle path connecting Halifax with Bradford and Keighley.

Members say the Government allocated £1 million for the feasibility study, and that it was largely completed last year.

But a report containing key data around costings and economic benefits is still awaited.

"This delay is hugely disappointing," says society leader, Norah McWilliam.

"Because of the difficult local topography, the tunnel presents the only realistic opportunity to link Bradford district and Calderdale for active travel purposes. As we transition to greener forms of transport, legacy structures are becoming ever-more valuable, particularly as new infrastructure becomes less and less affordable. We’re seeing that through the cutting-back of schemes locally. Through their inertia, decision-makers are allowing opportunities presented by Queensbury Tunnel to slip through their fingers.

"A section of the structure between two ventilation shafts is now inaccessible because of work carried out by National Highways in 2021. We know the brickwork is beginning to fail in some places and needs repairing, but it’s no longer possible to get machinery and materials in to undertake work.

"The situation is unsustainable in the long-term, but nobody is taking control of it. We have a landowner who, for years now, has kindly put on hold development plans for one of the approaches to the tunnel – protecting the route in and out for the greenway – but he can’t delay things indefinitely.

"We need to start moving forward positively and that means understanding the findings of the study. The society has worked tirelessly over the past ten years to highlight the social and health benefits the tunnel could help to deliver. Having provided the funding for the study, the public has a right to see the report."

Queensbury Tunnel was built by the Great Northern Railway and opened in 1878. The line through it closed in 1956.

National Highways manages the structure on behalf of the Department for Transport.

A Department spokesperson says: "The Department has funded two studies to help inform a decision on the future of the tunnel, and will provide an update in due course."