The Examiner have reported that Lockwood-based engineering company David Brown are considering a possible relocation of part or all of their facility. The Penistone Line runs alongside part of their site and the junction with the disused Meltham Branch Line is close by, just underneath the Hanson Lane bridge.
As I have discussed in a previous post, the long term aim of the Meltham Greenway project is to create a cycle route linking Huddersfield with the small town of Meltham, making use of the trackbed of the disused Meltham Branch Line where possible. The potential redevelopment of David Brown’s Lockwood site could provide an opportunity for another part of this route to be secured.
The image above shows the possible route from the start of the Meltham Branch Line to Swan Lane. This would require the use of a small section of land about 120m long which will be owned by Network Rail. Use of that land would not prejudice any future reinstatement of double track on the Penistone Line at this point so this should be a realistic possibility.
The section of Network Rail owned land would provide access through to Lockwood via the David Brown site to the north and to the track bed of the Meltham Branch Line to the south.
Kirklees Council, along with the Friends of Meltham Greenway and Sustrans, should therefore in my view try to ensure that a route for the Meltham Greenway can be accommodated as part of any future development of David Brown’s site.
UPDATE (12 January)
The launch of the Who Owns My Neighbourhood project has provided some interesting new information regarding this situation. It confirms my understanding that Kirklees own the section of the former Meltham Branch Line adjacent to the Penistone Line. More interestingly though, it seems to suggest that some of the David Brown site is on Kirklees land which I assume they lease. If David Brown were to relocate, this could make it even more feasible for a route for the Meltham Greenway to be found.