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Saturday, 23 October 2010


Just a few lines to let our readers, subscribers and members know that the Re-open the Woodhead Line group intend to formally reply to the DfT response to our open letter

The DfT response
was posted on this blog on the 9th October and the full text can be seen by following the above link.

We will of course publish our full response in due course. In the meanwhile here are a few bullet points to shoot across the bows of the Secretary of State.

  • The U.K. is legally committed to an 80% cut in CO2 emissions by 2050
  • 26% of U.K. emissions are emitted from transport
  • Of the three means by which such radical cuts can be effected (behavioural, technological and modal) modal shift ie: transferring traffic to the most energy efficient form of transport, is the one that the DfT has most control of.
  • As road traffic is responsible for 92% of total transport emissions, a third of all road journey miles need transferring to rail
  • Such a shift will quadruple existing rail traffic levels
  • There is therefore an urgent need to open up new rail routes to parallel existing principal corridors
Consequently, Woodhead offers the only realistic chance of creating a new Transpennine corridor to parallel the existing routes from Manchester to Leeds and Sheffield, given that on line 4-tracking is not practicable for either Diggle, Calder Valley or Hope Valley routes.

We therefore believe that the restoration of the Woodhead route is essential.

It is the only practicable option for achieving a step change in Transpennine connectivity and of guaranteeing an effective transport system for the North, given the expectation of an oil depleted future and a genuine attempt to cut CO2 emissions.

As such we regard the DfT do-nothing policy as unfit for purpose when radical action is needed today.