Village on track for rail station

NEW figures have supported calls for a railway station to be opened at Hipperholme to help alleviate congestion on the busy A58.

Calderdale Council’s Transport Working Party was told that the best benefits to cost ratios set by the railway industry supported the need for a railway station in the village.

The ratios are based on the number of people living there and also committed development, that is planning permission to build houses in the future, number of people who would use the station, what impact it would have on other stations along the Caldervale line and how long it takes to stop, reliability and punctuality. The infrastructure and track and how much would need to be invested are also key factors.

The ratio for Hipperholme is 3.9. A council spokeswoman said: “Anything less than two would mean that it wouldn’t be considered by the railway industry so 3.9 is very good and something likely to be considered in the future.”

Councillor Colin Raistrick (Ind, Hipp/Light) said his personal choice would be to have it in Norwood Green or where the old one used to be in Tanhouse Hill. “It would need to be somewhere where people would go to get some of the traffic away from the crossroads,” he said.

“If more money was spent on the Caldervale line we could have express trains to Manchester, Leeds, Bradford and Halifax and having a Metro service stopping at the smaller stations like a community shopper train.

“I definitely don’t think having a railway station will do any harm. We have got to get people out of their cars and the only way to solve Hipperholme crossroads without knocking the whole place down is to get people out of their cars and on to railways or build a by-pass. It has got to be one of them.”

He said one of the suggestions for the funding from the Leeds City Region as reported in last week’s Brighouse Echo was to improve the Caldervale line and that if trains got faster they would need more of them and more places to stop. He felt that having the station providing there was somewhere to park would ease the problem at the crossroads.

The opportunity to pursue a new rail station in Hipperholme has also been suggested as part of the Local Plan, just cleared by councillors.