Planning permission for Elland — Opening in Sight

Elland station gained planning permission earlier this year. Why did this take so long you might well ask? First thing to say is there is no point trying to complete planning procedures until the plans are as near as possible final. So planning appproval is a sure sign that this project will get the go-ahead. The projected station has certainly evolved and will include access via stairs, lifts and ramps. There should be adequate protection from wind and rain.

Latest plans and details can be found in more detail on Calderdale council’s website. The associated access package will open up high quality walking and cycling routes with new river and canal bridges towards Exley and along the canal bank to Greetland (West Vale).

Yes, it has taken a long time to get this far. Recent setbacks have included redesigns due to changes to Network Rail fire regulations and waits for reponses from official consultees. Elland was deleted from the original Brighouse line reopening – expensive to build. But an early study (1990) had forecast that of the two stations Elland could attract more passengers. Choosing the best site for the station has always caused local argument. We still hear occasional voices speaking out for the station site in Exley Lane and for Greetland. Both these alternatives have the disadvatages of serving few houses within walking distance and remoteness from local urban centres. The chosen site at Elland Lane is

  • well served by the local road network,
  • close to a lot more – and more concentrated – housing,
  • next to Lowfields business park (which did not exist when the 1990 study was carried out),
  • close to Morrisons superstore, Elland town centre and a private hospital.

HADRAG has argued that local NHS facilities – Calderdale Royal Hospital and Royal Huddersfield Infirmary could be accessed from upper Calderdale towns by a minibus link from Elland station, whilst new bus routes could be developed around Elland, Greetland and Stainland to serve the station and link communities. Groundwork for a highly successful station.

We also keep saying – without apology! – that each of Elland and Brighouse stations will serve a population comparable with the two main upper Calderdale stations combined. Hence our call for doubling of the present train service frequency in lower Calderdale and opening up of new destinations.

Next stage in the station planning process will be “FBC” (full business case) later this year. The promise is completion by end of 2025, meaning trains on existing hourly routes Wigan-Manchester-Brighouse-Leeds and Bradford-Huddersfield calling at the new station perhaps to slightly adjusted timings – the extra stop will add a couple of minutes. Which will, arguably of course, be a quarter of a century late.

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