Calderdale Green Party welcomes the news that reopening Elland Station is now on the cards for 2022.
Last week the Investment Committee of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority recommended spending £20 million on the scheme.
This includes station construction; a bus-rail interchange; a dedicated car park for park and ride; a new footbridge over the River Calder and improved road, cycle and pedestrian links between the station, the town centre and neighbouring areas.
Cllr Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said that opening a station at Elland has the potential to bring up to 1500 new, high quality jobs to the area.
Local firms have also indicated that the station will make further investment in the area more likely because of improved connectivity with the rest of the region.
The Council has been working with West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the rail industry to develop Elland Station for several years and the new scheme has the full support of Northern and Network Rail.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority will finalise an outline business case in December 2018 and it is anticipated that the station will be completed by early 2022.
Hipperholme and Lightcliffe should not miss out
Calderdale Green Party member Elaine Hey said,
“It’s great that Elland is to have a station – but in Hipperholme and Lightcliffe there is a great deal of support and desire for the reopening one of their stations.
This came across very strongly when I was campaigning there in the Calderdale Council by election earlier this year. The one single issue which unites everyone in that ward is the pure dissatisfaction with the level of gridlock, congestion and the poisonous air.
Just because Elland has been chosen and Low Moor Station has recently reopened about 4 miles further down the Calder Valley Line, is not a reason for Hipperholme and Lightcliffe (which did once upon a time have 2 stations) to miss out for the foreseeable future.”
A West Yorkshire Combined Authority feasability study report into potential new stations in West Yorkshire as a whole had 61 sites under consideration. Within Calderdale, Elland and Hipperholme were amongst the 13 that made the final stage of the assessment.
“Elland has been chosen, I believe due to greater anticipated demand and fewer perceived practical and economic problems such as the need for 3rd party land aquisition to bring the project to fruition.
Because of its location Hipperholme is very much a commuter neighbourhood. There are no jobs as such in the immediate area, so everyone travels. The great thing about the Calder Valley line is that it connects most of the places that people will commute to on one direct train – Halifax, Bradford, Leeds, York and Manchester etc. The density of population in Hipperholme and Lightcliffe means that the station would be accessible to very many people on foot with many cars being left at home.”
Kieran Turner, a member of Calderdale Green Party’s Turning Calderdale Green campaign group, said,
“The Councillors must provide the facilities Elland deserves by ensuring the Elland station scheme is designed and built to the best possible standards. Recently in Cambridge a much-vaunted transport interchange was constructed as a series of bus stops down a dingy side street.”
Transport is not just about the convenience and ease of moving around, but also a key sector for reducing carbon emissions and climate change. This extends to the need for sustainable, low carbon buildings for the station and bus interchange – although these days un-staffed stations are little more than a couple of platforms, a bridge, passenger lifts and waiting shelters.
But waiting shelters could and should be built to high energy efficiency standards, using low carbon, cradle-to-cradle methods and materials that produce no waste to landfill at the end of the buildings’ life.
The advantages of straw bale building – whether load bearing or using pre-fabricated straw and wood panels, such as Ecococon – are becoming well known. Such buildings are carbon dioxide negative, as straw stores carbon dioxide during growth and this remains stored in the building throughout its life. At the end of its life, the building’s materials can return to the earth, so there is no waste to landfill.