‘Rail investment must benefit all of district’ - campaign group

Work has started on a �100m investment on the Calder Valley rail line.
Work has started on a �100m investment on the Calder Valley rail line.

A campaign group has welcome planned improvements to Calderdale’s main rail route but called on train bosses to do more to keep alternative service going while work takes place.

Parts of track and base on the Calder Valley line – which covers Halifax, Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden stations – are being replaced over the weekends running until May 15 with replacement bus services in place.

The Halifax & District Rail Action Group (HADRAG) said the £100m works would improve services but said alternative rail services should be available during the period and any investment should also benefit Sowerby Bridge, Brighouse stations, as well as theproposed station at for Elland.

Chairman Stephen Waring, from the group, said: “Some replacement buses are inevitable. But we hope the train operators will minimise the need for people to change on and off buses. Instead of relying solely on replacement buses they should also be using alternative rail routes.

“For example if the line is blocked further up the valley, passengers from Halifax for Manchester could be routed on trains to Huddersfield where there are fast trains to Manchester.

“This would avoid getting off a train, onto a bus and back on a train beyond the blockade.”

“HADRAG has said we want the train company to plan its timetable to deliver future benefits not just to the main stations like Halifax and Hebden Bridge.

“Stations like Sowerby Bridge and Brighouse have seen massive growth over the last ten years and we want to see the track improvements benefit these places with more trains, faster trains,” added Mr Waring.