Protect the ecology of Britain’s dismantled railways

An excellent article and video that highlights the threat to wildlife posed by the infilling of disused railway bridges. A petition has been set up which we’re sure many of you will want to support:

Click above to see article and watch video

This is the exact threat we still have in Pudsey with possible new applications to infill Greenside rail cutting.

Due to budget issues to maintain redundant rail infrastructure Historical Railways Estate (Highways England) will want to dispose of such liabilities if they possibly can.

Well done to the community group that successfully campaigned to stop the infill of Barcombe Bridge in East Sussex, read more at:

Great turnout and weather for our first guided walk of the proposed Greenway

This covered Phases 1/2 of the route from Mt Pleasant Road, near St Josephs School via Lowtown, Robin Lane, Carlisle Road, passing the Greenside tunnel entrance, then via Smalewell Road/ bridleway to the western tunnel entrance , Tyersal embankment to Black Hey Farm, walking back via Leeds Country Way to Smalewell Road.

Around 25 residents from Leeds and Bradford attended and were shown the historical landmarks on the route including the sites of former Lowtown and Greenside rail stations which we are fundraising to provide Heritage interpretation boards at both sites.

The self guided route is also available on the website,

A local illustrator has also offered to assist with a new map /guide of the route.

Guided walk of the proposed Greenside Greenway

Saturday 6th November 10.30am

Greenside Greenway members invite you to a free walk of phases 1/2 of the proposed route and opportunity to ask questions.

Starting from outside St Joseph’s School on Mount Pleasant Road at 10.30am or join us further on the route at 11am on Carlisle Road bridge near the Royal public house, (walk to finish approx. 11.45am).

If interested in walking the route at another time, the self-guided details of the route are as below,

(advisable to wear appropriate footwear/clothing)

The full route plans are to include a link (phase 3) to Stanningley Road to Cycle Superhighway CSI) and at the Bradford end to Spen Valley Greenway (phase 4) via Tyersal Lane.

It’s possible to walk parts of the route starting at any point, and also if wanting to extend your walk to return to central Pudsey via a number of bridleways Fulneck Valley/Black Carr woods Bankhouse lane or Fulneck Moravian Settlement.

This is a guide of the central areas of the Greenway through Pudsey (phases 1/2). This is from Mount Pleasant Road to Tyersal rail Embankment. The route covers five segments of railway line, footpaths/bridleways and residential streets and is approx. 2 miles in length.

This guide starts at: –
Mount Pleasant Road just down from St Joseph’s Primary School entering the first segment of disused rail land which is now a woodland area, passing a near buried rail bridge and Pauls Mill Pond, the route opens up to reach nearby Lowtown.

Crossing busy Lowtown onto Crimbles place (cul -de sac), The sheltered housing complex is built on the former Lowtown Rail station land. Continue on the footpath at the end of the cul- de -sac passing over the top of another old rail bridge at the bottom of Longfield road. Then enter Longfield Court a short dog leg cul-de-sac onto the narrow footpath and onto 2nd segment of woodland /rail land to Robin Lane (near Crawshaw Academy). The old rail bridge is still here but now buried.

From Robin Lane cross this busy road to the entrance of the 3rd /4th segments of woodland railway, passing Radcliffe Lane and South Parade buried rail bridges to New Street.

Cross New Street (another buried rail bridge site) into quiet New Street Grove cul-de-sac, at the end of this road take the steps up to Carlisle Drive cul -de -sac, this area is the former Greenside rail station. At the top of Carlisle Drive turn right onto busy Carlisle Road. From here there are extensive views down to Leeds centre and on a clear day power station as far as Ferrybridge Power Station.

Cross the road to view the Greenside Tunnel Eastern entrance (516 metres in length), and part infill area of the rail cutting. At the Royal Hotel enter Station Street (one way traffic) proceed to the junction with busy Greenside /Smalewell road. Cross to Smalewell road and continue for 400 metres to Tyersal bridleway adjacent to the Fox and Grapes public house.

Proceed down the bridleway a short distance to a bridge which crosses the disused rail line., then a short distance later turns right onto the old railway tack bed. Under the bridge you crossed view the Western entrance to Greenside Tunnel. It’s possible to walk to the tunnel entrance which now has more secure gates fitted by Historical Railways Estate (Highways England), beware the land is normally boggy here.

Walk the 10 acres of woodland (which Ogden Group own ) with views across Fulneck Valley, Tyersal Beck passes under the embankment in a culvert. The walk ends at the missing rail bridge (beware steep drop) and slope ramp on the right down to Black Hey Farm and Tyersal Lane

If returning to Pudsey and to vary the walk it’s possible to walk down Tyersal Lane, passing the Tyersal beck/ culvert area using an old footbridge then a steep walk back up to Smalewell Road.

Greenside Greenway Guided walk plan  – Section below Mount Pleasant road  to Robin Lane

Section  below Robin lane to Greenside /Smalewell road -passing Greenside Tunnel eastern entrance

Section. below Smalewell road along Tyersal Embankment to Black Hey Farm .

mapping courtesy of Open Street Maps

Could you help make the footpaths below Official Routes?

Greenside Greenway community group are in the process of submitting claims to make two sections of the disused railway line which have been used by residents for nearly 50 years into official Public Rights of Way. By doing this will help give protection against any other building developments on the proposed Greenway route. The sections are

  1. Tyersal Embankment
    16 acres of land (between the bridleway down from the Fox and Grapes public house to Black Hey Farm ). This land is currently owned by Ogden Group.

  2. Lowtown to Mt Pleasant Road
    This section of disused rail track passes Paul’s pond (old Mill private fishing pond). The land is accessed by the side of Henry Kranks shop on Lowtown, this land may have a number of owners.

    If you have walked / cycled / horse riden any of the above routes we are keen to obtain evidence statements which will be submitted to Leeds City Council Public Rights of Way section, who will process the PROW (Public Right of Way) claims.

    If you can assist, please send an email to

    or send details via private messenger or contact any Committee member, we just need your contact details.

    Please indicate which of the two footpath claims (1 or 2 ) you can help with. We will then post the user evidence form to you with a SAE to return to us.

Many thanks.

Greenside Greenway Commitee

Update September 2021

We are pleased to announce that the feasibility report into phase one of Greenside Greenway has now been completed by Sustrans. This was funded by local community donations and contributions from Historical Railway Estates, and both Leeds and Bradford Councils. Thank you to everyone that contributed, both in terms of finance and support.

The detailed report is 125 pages long and contains design options, land ownership searches, ecology information, and support statements from various local stakeholders. Initially we have focused on phase 1, from Greenside Tunnel in Pudsey to Tyersal Lane in Bradford, incorporating the Tyersal embankment.

With a predicted cost of £2.5 to £4.0 million, the 2.5km long phase 1 represents excellent value for money, compared to both similar greenway schemes, and expensive road schemes, especially when considering the health and wellbeing benefits it will bring. It offers both the chance to create a sustainable transport and leisure route, and to bring back the historic Greenside tunnel into public use. A further 3 phases of the greenway are also proposed, which would eventually link Stanningley to the Spen Valley Greenway.

The proposed Greenside Greenway is considered to be of excellent value, and has strong local support from organisations, community groups, and politicians. We have recently met with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and both Leeds and Bradford Councils to appraise them of the project and to request assistance in realising the greenway. We will continue to work tirelessly to make it a reality.

Contact details:
Twitter: @greensidegreen Facebook: GreensideGreenway

Planning objection submitted

The group have submitted an objection to the current planning application for the two semi-detached houses currently being built. You will see from the objection statement below, that we are not against the building of the houses, just that thought needs to be put into how the retaining wall is constructed so that it would not prevent the construction of the greenway at a later date.

The closing date for comments is Monday 17th May.

To view and comment, head to and search for 21/02106/FU.

Greenside Greenway objection:

We note the previous planning history of the site and surroundings:

16/04825/FU – 8 dwellings on the site of old garage – approved
17/02642/FU – Partial infilling of railway cutting with inert material – approved
18/05570/FU – Full infill of former railway cutting – refused
20/05470/FU – two semi detached houses – approved
21/02106/FU – one pair of semi detached houses – Current application

We wish to object to the current planning application on the grounds that engineering detail regarding the retaining wall in the former railway cutting has not been supplied.

The Greenside Greenway group is proposing that the old Pudsey Loop Railway Line is repurposed as a greenway for pedestrians, wheelchair users, runners, cyclists, and horse riders. The proposed route runs through the Greenside Tunnel and continues through the cutting that adjoins the site in question. We have recently supplied to the council a feasibility study completed by Sustrans that confirms that a greenway utilising the greenside tunnel and former railway line is both technically and financially feasible. 

It is essential that the council mandate that the construction of the 2 semi detached houses and the associated retaining wall will not prejudice the removal of the partial infill of material in the cutting that may be required if the greenway goes ahead. If the council fails to do this, it will go against their own policies of improving active travel links.

The officer’s report of a previous application (20/05470/FU) incorrectly stated that the design of the retaining wall was only a matter for building control as it would be concealed once the rest of the cutting had been filled in. A negligent omission from the report being the fact that a recent application to fully infill the cutting had been refused by the council (18/05570/FU), with significant local objection. The assumption should therefore be that the cutting would remain unfilled and thus the retaining wall should be amenable in both a visual and structural capacity.

We also note the partial infill plan (17/02642/FU) bears little resemblance to the current infill and the proposed site plan (21/02106/FU) highlights the extent to which the development has encroached onto land created by the current infill. It is therefore requested that the foundations for any retaining wall are secured into the bank of the original cutting (as it was prior to partial infill), and not any loose material that has been tipped in the last 4 years.

This will have two effects:
Ensure that the retaining wall is structurally sound eliminating risk of subsidence of the pair of houses currently being built.
Ensure that if any material from the partial infill is removed for future greenway construction, it will not jeopardise the structural integrity of the retaining wall.

Update February 2021

Greenside Greenway Community Group have now received phase 1 Feasibility Study report commissioned by Sustrans.

This details the practicalities and benefits of constructing a Greenway route utilising Greenside Tunnel and Tyersal Embankment. 

The report also includes description of other proposed phases linking to nearby Spen Valley Greenway, and in the opposite direction to Lowtown and Stanningley Leeds Cycleway.

We are in the process of consulting with Stakeholders and intend to launch the report in Spring 2021.

We would like to thank all our supporters who contributed to the fundraising of this study and who also objected to the full Infill of the Greenside rail cutting.

For more information of this project see the links below:

 Follow us on Facebook: @GreensideGreenway

 Follow us on Twitter: @greensidegreen    

Email us:      

Greenside Greenway object to new planning application

The developers building houses on the site adjoining the railway cutting leading to the Greenside Tunnel have submitted a new planning application to build two semi detatched houses instead of the previously approved single detached house.

Greenside Greenway have submitted an objection on the grounds that this would make the use of the cutting for a greenway more difficult in the future, and we suspect that the original partial infill of material has not been performed as per in the original approval.

Please see below for a link to the planning application where you can comment if you so wish, and our detailed objection.

Link to planning application

The Greenside Greenway group is proposing that the old Pudsey Loop Railway Line is repurposed as a greenway for pedestrians, wheelchair users, runners, cyclists, and horse riders. We are imminently expecting the publishing of a feasibility study by Sustrans that we commissioned earlier this year.

The proposed route runs through the Greenside Tunnel and continues through the cutting that adjoins the site in question. An earlier planning application (17/02642/FU) approved the partial infill of inert material into the cutting. Members of the Greenside Greenway group opposed that planning application as it had the potential to make the development of the greenway more difficult.

The plans for the greenway have continued even after the partial infill of material as both ourselves and experts consider the partial tipping reversible. The inert material could be redistributed to other parts of the route that require elevating, thus restoring the original profile of the cutting.

It should be noted that the original planning application for 8 dwellings on the site (16/04825/FU) was approved prior to that of the partial infill. As such, the dwellings as built to these plans would be unaffected if the partial infill was removed.

We note the current application (20/05470/FU) for two semi-detached houses in place of one detached house in the original application. In principle, we have no objection to this change, however upon examination of the plans, it appears that the footprint and curtilage of the semi-detached houses extends further into the cutting than that of the original detached house. This would indicate that there is now more land available than when the original planning application for the dwellings was submitted.

We also note the original proposed layout plan that was approved in the partial infill application (17/02642/FU). This shows the location of the infill material in the centre of the cutting, with none added to the sloping area next to Carlisle Road and the dwelling site location.

We therefore request that the planning application is refused for the following reasons:

  • The only way land is now available for two houses rather than one, is because the partial infill planning permission has been breached. The inert material has not been placed as indicated in the prior planning application.
  • Allowing the building of an additional house on material that has been tipped into the cutting would prejudice removal of that material at a later date, and thus prejudice the development of the greenway.
  • Although not civil engineers, we do not think that recently tipped material is a stable foundation for a house.