Petition launched to re-open Woodhead railway line to the public

Andy Kettle, chairman of the Woodhead Railway Heritage Group Constitution, has launched a petition to re-open the Woodhead railway line as part of a plan to ease congestion on the roads between Manchester and Sheffield.

The petition states: “The A628 road is dangerously congested daily, so an option to use RoRo (roll on roll off) trains between Stockport and Sheffield to take trucks off the Woodhead Pass, this would be economically viable to the transport industry, and reducing the carbon footprint environment for the local communities along the A628. Re-opening the line allows another cross Pennine rail line to ease the pressure of the current Pennine rail routes.”

Grand Northern, a group who propose to open the railway line as a rolling highway, have estimated that the economic benefit to the country could reach 10 billion. The route of the rolling highway links the M60 Manchester orbital at Bredbury and Stockport with the M1 at Tinsley, Sheffield.

Not only do the plans outline a commercial benefit and make life easier for commuters travelling between Manchester and Sheffield, there are some environmental aspects too. Grand Northern’s site explains: “Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum will effectively be removed by using the new railway line instead of making the journey by road.

“The topography of the route lends itself perfectly to maximising the benefits of regenerative braking, such that the spin off electricity generated can be sold back to the National Grid.”

The petition has almost reached 600 at the time of writing, and needs to hit 100,00 to be considered for debate by government in parliament.

View the petition here.

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