A PLANNING application to infill the historic Queensbury Tunnel has reached its 7,000th objection.

The 1.4-mile long Victorian structure between Bradford and Halifax has been at the centre of a long-running battle between campaigners, and custodian Highways England, over its future.

The Queensbury Tunnel Society is fighting to bring it back into public use as part of a greenway connecting the two districts.

Norah McWilliam, leader of the Queensbury Tunnel Society, said: “The response to the planning application has been overwhelming and unprecedented. Abandonment is costing a fortune and benefits nobody except a few officials in Whitehall and York.

“It’s about time Highways England withdrew its planning application and joined the movement to secure a positive future for Queensbury Tunnel, helping to repurpose it as an iconic landmark on the country’s active travel network. That’s the only way of seeing a return on the taxpayer’s investment.

“It’s a strategically valuable structure connecting two large urban centres - a reality which some in the Department for Transport are now waking up to.

"As we look to the future, it’s clear that the green transport revolution promoted by the Government will only prove viable if we make the most of our existing infrastructure assets. Queensbury Tunnel has to be saved.”

Last month, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced £1m funding for a business case into a Bradford-Halifax Greenway incorporating the tunnel.