Low Moor railway station row

PLANS: An artist impression of the proposed new train station in Low Moor.
PLANS: An artist impression of the proposed new train station in Low Moor.

councillors have hit back at criticism of the planned Low Moor railway station, while a new rail link for the Spen Valley has been branded ‘impossible’.

Last week, the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce announced it had concerns over the rail plan that has received the backing of Bradford City Council, Metro and Northern Rail.

It suggested relocating the site to the other side of Cleckheaton Road and looking at extending the rail network to reinstate the old Spen Valley line, which is now the Greenway.

However Wyke councillor David Robinson defended the plans and questioned why the chamber had not come forward sooner.

“This is something that has been going on for over 10 years and we have had residents and local industry asking why there is no station in Low Moor,” he said.

“For the chamber to come in now and say there should be a rethink is absolutely ridiculous.

“They should have lobbied for it in the Spen Valley if that’s what they wanted. A lot of hard work has gone into this plan by the Wyke councillors.”

Coun Robinson added that the chamber’s suggestion to move the site across Cleckheaton Road to the conservation area at Toad Hole Beck was not feasible.

He added: “We have worked with Bradford Council and residents to set up the Friends of Toad Hole Beck which protects the conservation area.”

Gordon North, Sustrans’s Greenway warden and vice-chairman of the Spen Valley Civic Society, said it would be ‘impossible’ to reinstate the Spen Valley rail line without it costing millions.

“The pipeline Yorkshire Water put down the length of the Greenway has made it physically impossible to reopen,” he said.

“I would estimate it could cost £15m just to relocate the pipe elsewhere.”

A campaign group was set up in the 1980s called Missing Link to lobby for a return of the Spen Valley line.

Michael Ramsden, one of its founders, added: “If they wanted to open the line it would be a big project and the Low Moor plans would have to be looked at again.”

A planning application for the railway station will be lodged with Bradford Council in the new year.