Calderdale commuters could benefit from two new rail projects if plans to be discussed by Calderdale Council’s Cabinet are agreed.
Plans to lobby central Government to prioritise investment in the electrification of the Calder Valley rail line will be considered by members of the Cabinet.
Electrified railways are more energy efficient, produce lower emissions and have lower operating costs than diesel services. The trains are also quieter and more reliable.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for the Economy and Environment, Cllr Barry Collins said:
“The Calder Valley line has suffered from serious under investment for many years, which has led to a poor, unreliable service for commuters, increased congestion on our roads and is continuing to hinder business growth and economic prosperity.
“If the multi-billion HS2 project proceeds, then it is even more vital that the Calder Valley line is electrified, enabling our communities and businesses to benefit from shorter journey times and better connection with the major cities across the network. Strengthening our local railway is essential, not just for Calderdale but for the future of the entire trans-Pennine economic corridor.”
Calderdale’s Cabinet will also review the proposal to open a new rail station at Elland. This is continuing to make good progress through the Governance to Rail Improvements Projects (GRIP) process, which is required by law, before a final decision can be made. The eight stage process makes sure that new stations are in the best location, have good access, will be well-used, are well designed, fit well with the rail network and that the finance is available for them to be built.
Funding from the Northern Hub, announced in 2013, will add essential track and signal improvements which must be made before any new stations can be opened on the network. These will cost approximately £36 million and it is estimated that they will be finished between 2014 and 2016.
An investment of approximately £200,000 is now required so that the plans for Elland Station can move to GRIP 4, the next stage in the process. Calderdale Council’s Economic Taskforce will provide a £50,000 contribution and £25,000 has been allocated from the Council’s Local Transport Plan. The Council has requested the remaining £125,000 from West Yorkshire Metro.
Cllr Collins continued:
“Elland should have had its new station at least a decade ago. This time, we’ve got to make it a reality.”
Cabinet members will be asked to continue to support the move to GRIP 4, including feasibility work to produce a single, viable proposal for the new station. Cabinet will also request formal confirmation of funding from Metro.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet will meet at 6pm on Monday 31 March at Halifax Town Hall.