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October 29, 2018updated 28 Jul 2021 2:29pm

Let’s pretend the Calder Valley had a tram system

By Matthew Whiley

Another contribution to our occasional thread of speculative, and hilariously overy-ambitious, transport proposals from readers…

Dear Jonn,

I recently saw the piece about a fantasy tram system for Truro and, having been really interested in it, I wanted to get in touch and share my creation for Halifax and the Calder Valley. We’re getting all kinds of investment in the transport systems in this area lately, so I thought: why not take it up a level and have a tram line running through it all?

I’d have the line start in Brighouse in the Lower Valley, at the town’s railway station. The station is a little out of the way, so this would be a fast and easy way to get from here to the town centre. Once through Brighouse, it would begin to wind up the A644, which is usually heavily congested at peak times. At Hipperholme crossroads, it would then continue towards Halifax town centre on the A58, stopping at Shibden Park.

Once it has come down New Bank and entered Halifax town centre by travelling over North Bridge, it would then have an important stop just outside the main bus station. Once it has stopped here, I would split it into two one-way systems, much like a part of Nottingham’s NET system. Trams from Brighouse would skirt the southern edge of the town, stopping at the town’s main attraction of the Piece Hall, and the railway station; while trams to Brighouse would run through the middle of the town, stopping outside the Borough Market.

Continuing westwards, both tracks would come back together at the Shay Stadium, before carrying on up to Savile Park, where I’d locate another park and ride. From here, it would follow the A646 Burnley Road, through Friendly, across the top of Sowerby Bridge, and into Luddenden Foot and Mytholmroyd. I would put a third park and ride in Brearley, just before Mytholmroyd town centre. Finally, it would finish up in Hebden Bridge in the heart of the Upper Valley, at the railway station there. Here’s a map.

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I hope this would clear up a good deal of the congestion there is around the area, while also getting people from one side of the Calder Valley to the other and linking up the railway stations to their respective town centres. Of course, it’s all fanciful. But it would be good, wouldn’t it?

Thanks for reading this.

Matthew Whiley (@MatthewWhiley)

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