Queensbury Ward Partnership – 11th October 2016


1st Floor, Argus Chambers, Bradford, BD1 1HX

Queensbury Ward Partnership

On Tuesday 11th October 2016, 7.00pm at

St Theresa’s Church Hall, Russell Road, Queensbury, BD13 2AN


Statements attributed to individuals in these notes are not to be read as the views or opinions of either Bradford MDC or the Forum, but solely as the views of the person making them

  1. Welcome and Introductions

Taj opened the meeting, introduced himself, briefly explained his role as Ward Officer, the background of how the group was established and welcomed everyone present. Taj also then said that the agenda order was different compared with previous meetings as the group updates had been taking too much time at the start of the agenda and the residents were not getting time to raise any community, crime or other issues.

Not all attendees had previous minutes. Taj sends them on email after the meeting and then again on email a week before the next meeting. He will bring a handful of copies to a meeting in case people forget. If anyone wants Taj to bring more copies they should contact him to let him know please.

People present included Taj (Ward Co-ordinator); Councillor Paul Cromie; Councillor Lynda Cromie; Councillor Lisa Carmody; Simon Moscrop (Highways); PC Amanda Simpson (WY Police); John Uleichuk (Youth Service); Dave Dodwell; Richard Cushnie; Geoff Milner; Joan Milner; Sue Dickerson; Carolyn Jowett; David Hart; David Lightfoot; Alan Senior; Andrew Senior; Robert Frost; Kathryn Halford; Karen Tordoff; Jo Mitchell; Janet Simmons-Powell; Norah McWilliam; Richard Houseago; Sally Duroe; Betty Denton; Pat Sayers and Matt Bibby (Note Taker).

  1. Apologies

Apologies were received from David Mitchell; Stuart Walker; Sheila Thornton and Beryl Robinson.

  1. Minutes of Last Meeting – 12th July 2016

Page 1 – Taj added the traffic issues to the September Ward Forum.

Page 1 – Taj has statistics for cameras. Please visit www.safetycameraswestyorkshire.co.uk if you want to find out information.

Page 2 – Highways were invited and are present at the meeting tonight.

Page 2 – The gulley schedule remains outstanding

Page 2 – Neil was contacted as was Liz

Page 2 – Members were emailed regarding Ward Forum.

Page 4 – A dementia friendly meeting had been held

Page 5 – War Memorial S106 – meeting organised and held

Page 5 – Update on Lorries later in the meeting

Action: Taj to find out about gully schedule

  1. Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

  1. Highways

Questionnaires were sent to residents affected by traffic issues on Long Lane and Deanstones Lane, asking for their ideas on how to solve some of the ongoing problems. Simon from Highways has done surveys in the area and has found that since 2008 the traffic in the general area has increased by 6.8%. On Deanstones Lane the traffic has actually decreased by nearly 38% but on Long Lane has increased by 132%. Simon has done a lot of analysis work and invited anyone to talk to him after the meeting.

Highways have looked at a number of schemes in Queensbury and there will be numerous signs installed warning motorists of road conditions. The improvements all centre round dealing with road injuries which is where 70% of the Highways budget must be spent. Warning signs will go up regarding the blind spot by Jackson Hill; the Ford Hill bend; the turning into Albert Road, where lorries have to swing out to turn in; Lane End where there will be improvements to the existing warning signs.

It was pointed out that part of Jackson Hill is in Calderdale, Simon said the sign will be in Calderdale but that it helps both Bradford and Calderdale by installing it.

Councillor Cromie asked if the residents who attended the September Ward Forum had been informed of the various traffic resolutions prior to the announcement at the meeting. They have not been to date.

Action: Highways signage improvements to be cascaded to wider audiences from the Ward Forum.

Discussions then turned back to the Long Lane issues. Taj reminded everyone that the area had been surveyed and opinion sought back in 2011 and the majority of residents did not want to do anything from the survey results. By making it access only it is almost impossible as it would need regular enforcement by the police to be effective.

There is no pedestrian light crossing on the main road by Tesco. There is a pedestrian island though and Simon believes that lights there would make the traffic issue worse in Queensbury. There is talk of moving the bus stop along that road to ease the problem of traffic going the wrong way round the pedestrian island. Simon is also looking at the yellow box area outside Tesco.

The double yellow lines at the top of Deanstones Lane are to be extended again. This will help tackle the problems near the junction. The lines were previously extended but not very far. The extension will be in 2017 sometime.

Within the next fortnight 20mph zone will go in outside Russell Hall Primary School.

  1. Crime and Community Safety Update

Figures remain low. Last week only 55 calls were received for the area on 101 or 999. This compares favourably to other areas such as Holmewood for example were 49 calls were received in just 4 days. There has been an issued where Queensbury High School and Foxhill Primary have been broken into. The current issue surrounding responses to such incidents are that the alarms go to a caretaker. It is almost 2 hours then until the Police were able to attend.

There have also been 3 thefts from motor vehicles were in all 3 cases items were left on display. People should ensure vehicles are locked and nothing is left on display.

An article will go to Neil who produces the Queensbury directory giving residents information around crime prevention; the darker night’s scheme and also reporting crimes.

Great news is that PCSO John Greenwood is recovering and is back to work (although he will not be out and visible in the community for some time). He has been missed as he has built up a fantastic relationship with local residents and his experience of the area means he knows the local issues. The group wished to express wishes to John and hope to see him soon.

In John’s absence there are 2 PCSO’s who cover Great Horton and Queensbury and they are often seen in a small white vehicle. PC Simpson said she will also ensure that they are visible in and around the key areas, notably High Street at busy times.

21 speeding letters have been issued in the past two weeks. The letters were warnings as the speed equipment used was not calibrated. The warning letters do have a positive impact however.

There has been a recent recruitment of PCSO’s so there will be more PCSO’s back within the district and ward areas in coming months.

  1. Update from Community Groups

The 1940’s group has an event at the George III pub, 7.00pm on Saturday 29th October

and also an event on 12 November at 8.00pm.

The Christmas party is on 10th December and there will be a £2.50 donation.

In 2017, there will be an event with Queensbury Singers on 25th March. The 1940’s day is planned for 17th June. Richard Cushnie attended the meeting and he is the deputy vice chair.

Queensbury Performing Arts are holding their pantomime in February 2017, the 23rd – 25th. The venue has yet to be decided but the full cast and chorus has been established now. The pantomime is a mix of Sleeping Beauty and Robin Hood.

Queensbury Community Programme holds ‘soup days’ on Mondays and Fridays, 11.30am – 1.00pm. A job club runs Tuesday and Fridays, 9.00am until Noon. There are also craft classes on a Thursday and Cup cake design sessions on Tuesdays. The group are looking for volunteers to help deliver the 5 week long courses.

There was an update from Andrew Senior regarding the Rugby club and the Queensbury Sports and Social club. There have been historic issues as reported in previous meetings over the years. Hopefully things are moving forwards now though. There is the chance for Andrew and the club  to get top soil for the playing surface at half price (£6 per tonne). This offer is only open until the end of October at which point if the offer is not taken up then the soil will be sold on at £12 per tonne to other interested parties. The £6 per tonne price would include delivery from Allerton. If top soil is purchased then money could then be raised to plant seed. Mick Priestley / Taj and The Councillors are meeting on 20th October with a view to looking to clarify the position. There have been some emails from the legal department saying that a programme of work is required. All the necessary documentation is ready. More information will be available after 20th October.

The Brownies are 50 years old so are having a party on 21st November from 6.30pm – 8.30pm at Union Croft. Former members and leaders will be invited. There may be another Scarecrow trail held next year but that is still to be officially confirmed.

David Lightfoot expressed his thanks to the residents for all the well wishes he received when he was poorly. He is back now and working full time. He received a card from Foxhill Primary School and was very grateful. The bags of help scheme which has around £20million for spending in local communities has changed the way it distributes money recently. David is now on the panel. The draw is every month and any project that benefits from money has to spend it on green and open spaces. Awards are £5000, £2000/£3000 (David was unsure which amount) and £1000. People can nominate themselves and do not have to be part of a group to make a bid.

Carolyn Jowett mentioned the light party at Victoria Hall on 31st October, 5.00pm – 7.00pm. There is also a curry night on 17th November. 4th December will be a farmer’s market, 8th December, a production of Sleeping Beauty (Victoria Hall, 6.15pm – 7.00pm) and Carol’s in the Mills on 20th December.

QCHAP are having their Santa’s forest in the mill on 4th December.

The Queensbury tunnel campaign is entering a critical stage. The group have had a report commissioned which shows it will cost circa £2.81million to make it safe. This conflicts with a similar report done by Highways England which states circa £35million. Highways England has offered Bradford Council £3million apparently to take it off their hands. The current position is that the far end has been drained by the private land owner. QCHAP hope this piece of Victorian heritage can be restored and used as a cycle network, with lighting and other works done. The current public liability is with Highways England and would go to Bradford Council should the Council take it over. QCHAP want the Ward Councillors to lobby the Council to ensure that the site is not abandoned and lost forever in 2017. The study that QCHAP had done was done for free but worth around £15,000. The tunnel is believed to be the largest in the UK and the second largest in Europe. Its potential for tourism is significant. Sustrans are giving a report to Bradford Council in the spring of 2017 at which point further information will be known.

Hi Stuart

There are several glaring errors in the last Ward Partnership minutes related to Queensbury Tunnel!

– The tunnel has been drained by Highways England’s contractors, not by the landowner

– the tunnel is not  the longest tunnel in England – but it could be the longest underground cycle route – if restored

– Norah McWilliam spoke on behalf of the Queensbury Tunnel Society, not on behalf of QCHAP

I’d be grateful if you could post these corrections

The High Street project has hit something of a brick wall. Financial issues have stopped the project. There was some discussion about section 106 being used but that money can’t be used for Highways work. David Lightfoot will discuss the matter further with his colleagues at Tesco to see if anything can be done. The bus company have agreed to the bus stop being moved but that is going to cost £10,000 and the bus company will not pay obviously for that work. Simon added that many years ago he managed to be successful with an approach to Tesco estate management when he was requiring some funding. The group still hope that the project can continue and that the High Street be narrowed to create a village centre near the Co-op.

There was no update on behalf of the History or Civic society. There will be two services on 15th October to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the death of two local people. The services are being held at Ambler Thorn United Methodist Burial ground. Anyone is free to attend. Leaflets were given out to those who wanted further information.

The new vicar is having an induction on the 3rd November at Holy Trinity.

Queensbury support centre is thriving. The centre provides support to elderly people and also the volunteers. There is enough resource to currently go into 2017 but future funding is unclear in the economic climate. There is no minimum age but it is usually centred round the needs of the person. The majority are over 60’s. Tesco have been generous in their support of the centre providing several goods.

Youth club is going well. Junior nights are Wednesday and Thursday. There is a project to tidy the grass areas at Victoria Hall and the children will be getting a free swim as part of their help on the task. There will be archery sessions on Thursday and Friday of half term week. Work is being done working with arts for young people. There are 4 sessions in a year. John asked for volunteers with skills in dancing, drawing, painting etc if anyone is interested. Certificates are provided and it is similar to the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.The group numbers are high as a lot of youths also attend from Great Horton and Canterbury. If numbers do get too high, youths from Queensbury will be given priority.

Cycle Queensbury is having the AGM on 18th October at Black Dyke Mills at 7.00pm. There is a free supper. The current committee are tied up with a lot of work on and it would be great to have some new volunteers to help in other areas, such as the continued success of the family fun days, etc. The group plan to raise money by having a £5 annual membership. This will mean that members get some discounts in the local bike shop.

  1. Council Update

Sally and Councillor Carmody spoke about the latest position with the smelly wagons. They have seen the new style trailers that are to be rolled out across the fleet in the next 15 months. The trailers are hydraulic driven rather than relying on human intervention to tie down and they have a 70% reduction in odours. The company are going to cease subcontracting to others so all the trailers will eventually be the new style. The company may also change the times of site entry and journey also but that will be explored in a meeting to be arranged in circa 6 weeks time. An agenda will be set and questions posed a couple of weeks before the meeting to allow parties time to find answers. Any continued leakages should be reported straight to the Council or to the emergency number. Councillor Cromie added that the problem could be resolved by Highways allowing access to Roper Lane. Simon replied by saying that the decision was an elected members decision at the time and not a Highways department decision.

There was a reminder about community chest funds. 31st October is the next application deadline. A group can be awarded £500. Groups can successfully apply once per Council’s financial year (April – March). However if a group keeps applying every year they may not be successful as the aim is to support new and small groups.

The Council want to see groups establish themselves and become financially viable through fund raising.

  1. Any Other Business

David Lightfoot explained that the Queensbury store manager would like Tesco to be a leader in customer satisfaction as he is very customer orientated. David would like local residents to support a ‘Friends of Tesco’ group to meet every quarter and look at this. If anyone is interested please contact David for more information.

  1. Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 13th December, 7.00pm at St Theresa’s Church Hall.

There were no further issues raised, therefore Taj thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting at 9.00pm

Queensbury Tunnel Update 10 October 2016

Engineering study offers hope for tunnel path

It would cost £2.81 million to repair a disused railway tunnel in West Yorkshire for use as a cycle path, according to a study published today by a campaign group. However Queensbury Tunnel, between Bradford and Halifax, is currently being prepared for abandonment at a cost of about £3 million by the Historical Railways Estate (HRE) which manages the structure on behalf of the Department for Transport. HRE is pursuing this option after its own report, which was presented to former Transport Minister Robert Goodwill earlier this year, put the cost of repair at £35 million. Mr Goodwill decided that this was unaffordable.

The new study, produced on behalf of the Queensbury Tunnel Society, found that most of the tunnel is in a fair condition and can be repaired, where necessary, using standard techniques adopted in operational railway tunnels. However, for about 300 metres, the tunnel cuts through a coal seam and is suffering from severe defects due to the arch being overloaded as the coal is crushed by the rock above it. Partial collapses have occurred at two locations. This section would have to be remediated using either in-situ or sprayed concrete.

Graeme Bickerdike, who co-ordinated the engineering study on behalf of the Society, said: “The campaign group was very fortunate in securing the help of an experienced civil engineer specialising in tunnel reconstruction and the contractor responsible for successfully repairing a collapsed disused tunnel under Liverpool in 2012. They went into Queensbury Tunnel to record the defects and then developed a remediation plan, programme of works and a costing.

“To the untrained eye, the collapses and the areas around them do look quite dramatic but, to people with a mining background, there are established ways of dealing with them that don’t involve huge costs. I spoke to a number of tunnelling and mining engineers about HRE’s £35 million figure – which was the product of a desk study – and they all regarded it as being off the scale. There has to be a proportionate and pragmatic approach to developing a repair solution here.”

In 2015, HRE commissioned an Options Report from Jacobs, its engineering consultants, to inform decision-making about the future management of Queensbury Tunnel which has the highest risk profile of any in HRE’s portfolio of 3,200 disused railway structures. The options ranged from a minimalist form of abandonment (plugging the entrances with concrete and allowing the tunnel to collapse), through partial or complete infilling, to repair for use as a cycle path.

However the report contains a number of errors resulting from Jacobs’ mistaken assertion that more than 900 yards of Queensbury Tunnel was driven using a “tunnel boring machine”. In reality, the advancement of around 300 yards of pilot tunnel (heading) was assisted by a “rock drilling machine” which drilled holes in the working face for blasting purposes. More critically, as the report is high level, it remains largely silent on the materials, quantities and construction methodologies associated with the various options. Without these, there can be little confidence that the costings are robust.

Norah McWilliam, leader of the Queensbury Tunnel campaign group, said: “I’m quite angry about it. HRE paid a lot of money for a report which ought to have been rejected. But instead, they took it to Robert Goodwill and effectively asked him to decide the future of the tunnel based on it. They are now proceeding towards abandonment – which involves pouring £3 million into a black hole – when there is a better option with a similar price tag that would convert the tunnel from a liability into an asset. By putting a cycle path through the tunnel, we believe that the £3 million investment would be repaid through social and economic benefits.

“Whether or not you care about Queensbury Tunnel, I think most people would object to a government body spending £3 million in a way that offers no value for money. We will be asking the Minister to halt the process of abandonment until a proper review has been conducted – based on proper costings – to decide the right way forward for the tunnel, one which offers the best possible outcome for taxpayers.”

To better inform such a review, Sustrans has begun work on a benefits study which will attempt to quantify the economic uplift a reopened Queensbury Tunnel might bring to Yorkshire’s economy. The findings are expected next spring.

Meanwhile HRE has made clear its intention to begin the physical process of abandoning the tunnel in the summer of 2018.


From 00:01 on 10/10/16, the campaign group’s full report can be downloaded from:


A collection of higher-resolution photos for Media use is available from:


More general information on the campaign is available from:


Media enquiries:


Notes for editors

Queensbury Tunnel was built by the Great Northern Railway between 1874 and 1878 as part of the Halifax, Thornton & Keighley Railway. At least eight navvies lost their lives during the work which was initially expected to take two years but was delayed significantly by two of the seven construction shafts having to be abandoned due to water ingress.

The tunnel, which is 2,501 yards (2,287 metres) long, opened to freight traffic in October 1878 and passenger trains in December 1879. The line between Holmfield and Queensbury, which included the tunnel, was officially closed on 28th May 1956. Lifting of the tracks took place in 1963.

Queensbury Tunnel would be the longest in the UK to host a shared path if the proposal to reopen it for such a purpose is successful. Currently Combe Down Tunnel in Bath holds that position at 1,829 yards (1,672 metres). However plans are being developed to restore Rhondda Tunnel in South Wales for cycle path use; this has a length of 3,443 yards (3,148 metres). The longest in Europe is the 2,931-yard (2,680 metres) Uitzi Tunnel on the Plazaola Greenway in northern Spain, whilst the 3,963-yard Snoqualmie Tunnel in America holds the world record.

The Historical Railways Estate (HRE), part of Highways England, is responsible for inspecting, maintaining and limiting the associated liability from around 3,200 disused railway bridges, abutments, tunnels, cuttings and viaducts. HRE’s role was formerly fulfilled by British Railways Board (Residuary) until its abolition 30th September 2013.

Tesco’s Working To Promote Healthy Eating In Primary Schools

Tesco, Nationally, have for the past two years been involved with Primary schools, Scout and Guide associations, in a push to try and teach our children to adopt an healthy lifestyle in a concerted effort to help to reduce the amount of Childhood obesity that exists in today’s society. To this end each store have employed a “Farm to Fork Guide”  whose brief it has been to take children from local primary schools or brownie group on a guided tour to help children better understand the food we eat. They learn how and where it is grown, what is good for them, what is not and the nutritional value of different foods. In some cases they take a look behind the scenes at the store to see how food is stored in order to retain freshness until it can be sold without losing all of it’s nutritional value.

In Tesco’s store at Queensbury the Guy charged with this job is Community Champion David Lightfoot M.B.E. who only this week has hosted two of the tours, one for a group of Rainbow Brownies and one for the Reception Class of a local school. David says “We can offer up to 7 different trails according to the curriculum demands of the schools, the children’s age group or the needs of the Brownie or Cub packs. They range from, for the younger children, a trail to look at the different colours of the fresh fruit and veg they eat up to a trail where the older children can look at the food that athletes eat explaining that different sports require different foods to give the athletes either energy in a quick short burst say for a sprinter or for a long distance runner who needs food to give him a slow release of energy to help them over a longer time”. Up to present Tesco, nationally, have had well over one million children around their stores. In some cases visits to suppliers have also been arranged.

The groups usually finish their tour with a sampling session of differing foods from the store based around the tour they have been on. this is very popular especially amongst the younger children.

The pictures show some of the children from Denholme Primary school looking at the different fresh fruit and Vegetables on offer. They later did a mini shop which they self scanned themselves through the quick tills. They took their purchases back to school where they helped to make fruit smoothies. They all seemed to enjoy themselves.