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Sunday, 3 August 2008

Local people send a message to government: "Re-open Our Tunnel!"

On Saturday 2nd August over 50 people from both sides of the Peaks gathered at a demonstration to demand the Woodhead Tunnel re-open to rail. Some attending the protest had hiked for more than two hours over the route of the Woodhead Line, whilst others had cycled from Hadfield and one man had come all the way from Southampton. The crowd, gathered at the tunnel entrance, heard from speakers and enjoyed music from a bicycle-towed sound system in the August sunshine.

The Tunnel has been closed to trains for over twenty years but local people believe there is now an excellent case to re-open the route between Sheffield and Manchester in order to meet national climate change commitments, relieve congestion on local roads and boost the local economy.

Local campaigner, Jonathan Atkinson of Save the Woodhead Tunnel, believes the ball is now in the Government's court.

"Everyone now sees the common sense case in re-opening the Woodhead line: local MPs, businesses and unions, the Northern Way and now the local community have demonstrated their support. It's up to Ruth Kelly and the Department of Transport to pull their fingers out and include Woodhead in the forthcoming Transport White Paper."

Representatives from Save the Woodhead Tunnel are due to meet Rail Minister Rosie Winterton in October. If people want to get involved in the campaign they can visit their website at or attend the next meeting at the Prince of Wales pub, Glossop, 7.30pm Thursday 14th August.


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