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Urgent: National Grid to close Woodhead Tunnel

Lewin | 15.11.2007 22:55 | Climate Chaos | Sheffield

National Grid, the owners of the Woodhead Tunnel near Longdendale, are to put the Tunnel beyond use in February 2008. Although the Tunnel and attendant railway line have been formally closed for 26 years, they could be resurrected very quickly if cheap, fast, sustainable transport was really important. We must act to stop the closure of the tunnel.

National Grid, the UK based Utilities Corporation, are about to put beyond use the Woodhead Tunnel, and thereby a trans-pennine railway line alternative to the car/road nightmare.

In recent weeks, the Department of Transport have signalled their intention to expand the road network and hold back rail alternatives. The Woodhead line between Sheffield and Manchester and the Modern Woodhead Tunnel (built in 1954) were closed in 1981, leading to an increasingly disastrous road traffic situation in the North West of England and particularly the adjoining area of Longdendale.

Whilst National and local government have pushed for a destructive Bypass to the A628 trunk road, Woodhead remains shut and alternatives shut out. But the owners of the Tunnel, National Grid, are moving to close it for good and destroy any hope of future alternatives to the car monster. They plan to relocate electricity cables from the previous Victorian tunnels to the modern one, starting in February 2008.

There's precious little in terms of action being taken against this act of wilful vandalism by the State and local campaigners are desparate for any help they can get. A walk/bike ride is planned for December 8th, to coincide with the national climate march, but ideas for action are welcome. For more info (article to be posted soon), see or contact

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Take action!

13.12.2007 19:27

A website has been setup for the campaign:

Here's an update.

See recent article in the Guardian:

We need MPs across the country to sign Early Day Motion (EDM) 459 calling on the Government to intervene and help safeguard the Woodhead Tunnel for future rail use.

Campaign for Better Transport have set up an easy e-action form on their website. To write/send an e-mail to your MP asking them to sign EDM 459:,en,2581,15223,-1,n,n,n

The full text of the EDM and the names of MPs who have signed is here:
If your MP's name is not there, PLEASE use the e-form (link above) and ask them to sign.