Bid to turn ‘black hole’ abandoned railway of South Yorkshire into nature beauty spot

editorial image
0
Have your say

Exciting plans have been revealed to transform an eyesore former railway site dubbed the ‘black hole of Goldthorpe’ into a beauty spot.

The disused railway track which runs through part of the town has been plagued by litter and fly-tipped furniture for decades.

Fly tipping under the Railway Bridge, Straight Lane, Goldthorpe. Picture: Marie Caley NSYT 01-12-14 Fly Tipping MC 5

Fly tipping under the Railway Bridge, Straight Lane, Goldthorpe. Picture: Marie Caley NSYT 01-12-14 Fly Tipping MC 5

But now there are plans to transform it into a visitor attraction by improving access and creating a nature trail and habitat.

The Goldthorpe Railway Cuttings project was being led by architecture students at Sheffield University and has now been taken on by members of the local Railway Embankment Group.

Group member Claire Dawson said: “The area has been an eyesore for so long and its great that we are sparking such good debate about what to do with the land. People seem to be really interested in what happens to the area. We put pop-up post boxes around the area and have had more than 200 responses.”

About 40 people attended an exhibition displaying various options and ideas for the scheme at the Salvation Army in Goldthorpe.

Claire said the group has received £10, 000 from the area’s ward councillors, which they will use to push the project forward.

She said: “The money will help us to offer match funding as we look at applying for other grants, so for example if we ask for £5000 we can offer to put £5000 in ourselves.

“We have also set up a bank account with a constitution and Network Rail, which still owns the land, has given us a community licence so we can get onto the site.

“Access down there is very poor at the moment, so logistically that is one thing we will look at.

“We need to make sure it is accessible for disabled people too.”

Residents have long campaigned for action and Bolton man Les Atkins previously described it as a “major dumping site.”

But community workers said the problem seems to have been curbed in recent months since CCTV cameras and warning signs were installed.