Posted by Andy Speechley
Having great affection for Hebden Bridge, though no longer a resident, I have often wondered if it might be possible to do something really radical about the terrible traffic problems as the poor place suffers under the increasing pressure of traffic going through the valley.
I know it might sound cranky but it would be fun to explore the possibility of getting a massive European grant to fund an experiment which, if successful, could benefit thousands of similarly affected communities throught the world.
Another highway passes through the town and has only a tiny fraction of the traffic load that the A58 has. It is the railway line. In many cities trams are making a comeback and cars, buses and trucks share the roads with trams. Modern systems and switchgear and other technologies may be advanced enough now to make it viable to ask the trains and the traffic to safely share that space. Obviously the cost of even a feasibility study into the idea would be enormous and to do it if it was feasible would be astronomic. But it all makes work for the working man to do and it has potential to yield serious environmental benefits if it were to be adopted widely after successful trials. Just an idea, thanks.
Posted by Patsy
I don't think it's a cranky idea at all - you shouldn't imply apology for it by ending with 'just a thought'. Okay, it would be huge and would indeed cost millions, and a feasability study would be an enormous thing in itself, but all huge innovative developments must have started with one person's thoughts. Do you envisage a sort of road with rails for trains set into it, or a sort of moving roadway with vehicles parked on it?
I had a really innovative idea years ago. The canal runs along the valley too, so if we were to put a sort of 'lid-on-stilts' on it we could turn a longish length of it into at least a two-three lane road - a bit like the New York subway running on stilts as it leaves downtown NY. The existing road could become a one-way system and the canal-road the other.
The problem with my idea is that it would completely ruin the ecology and relative peace of the canal - horrible! What's the point of solving a problem with such a draconian solution? Also, roads actually create traffic - look at the expansion of traffic on the M62 in the last 30 years. When it was first built people said it would never be fully utilised.........
Have you ever given thought to developing a system of 'rationing' car space along existing roads? People I know drive daily to Leeds and beyond - alone in their 4-seater cars - and just wouldn't consider sharing their car-space. I feel strongly that they should be made to think more about fuel emissions and the environment and be heavily penalised for not sharing their space.
I'm afraid I've rather deviated from your original idea by jumping on one of my favourite hobby-horses- sorry.
Please come back to this and elaborate on your vision. Have you any other amazing and intriguing ideas? Best wishes, Patsy XX
Posted by John Morrison
Quite right: not cranky ideas at all. We could have gilded carriages, filled with plush red cushions, pulled by teams of pure-white unicorns. Or we could miniaturise the vehicles, as they pass Walkley?s Mill, with this special ray-gun thingummy that makes things really small. Then we could put them into our pockets and... Oh God, the drugs are beginning to wear off...
Posted by Peter Ford
How about building a new motorway? Another cranky idea? Where will it be built with space at a premium already?
I have the answer.
At the top of the valley are miles and miles of unutilised moorland. I have often looked at this barren wasteland and thought it could be put to better use.
Just as the M62 was built over the moorlands between Leeds and Manchester why not mirror that With a Calder Valley moorland toll road?
Just to keep the eco warriors happy a plus 2 lane for car sharers.
A motorway link could be a catalyst for new buisness and jobs in the area. How does Mount Skip Services sound? (The views would be stunning). Pump attendants,Cleaners, Waitresses,shop assistants,arcade attendants would all be required.
Posted by Andy M
Why stop at a motorway. As you rightly point out its open and empty and, may I add, fairly flat; that suggests airport to me. The Scottish Parliament is subsidising air fares so perhaps we could approach Calderdale?
To be realistic though I think neither of these ideas is a go'er; we need the moors to graze John's unicorns on.
Posted by John Morrison
Yes... all that "unutilised moorland". Seems a shame to have all those empty acres just sitting there, doing nothing, when they could be paying their way. Move Ladbrokes to Midgeley Moor; punters would get some fresh air while they were losing their money...
Posted by Jack Hughes
'Midgeley'? Tut, tut, John. What next - Mytholmrodey (as my U.S. teenage penpal insisted on spelling it)?
Posted by Andy M
To be more realistic it would be useful to sink the hypothetical amount of money into improving rail links/connections and subsidising fares. More acheivable I imagine.
Posted by Geoff Boswell
It is time we had a tunnel around Hebden Bridge. If Hebden was in Maderia, Italy or switzerland a tunnel would have been built years ago!