Historical Railways Estate volunteers join Halifax locals to make a clean sweep


09 Jan 2024

Around 35 bags of rubbish were collected by Historical Railways Estate (HRE) contractors and Halifax volunteers during a festive clean up in the town.

Historical Railways Estate volunteers join Halifax locals to make a clean sweep

AmcoGiffen workers and their subcontractor Access Lifting Pulling and Safety (ALPS), who are working on renovating the nearby Wheatley Viaduct, joined the Siddal Community Clean Up Group to spruce up the area between the Maurice Jagger Centre and Bailey Hall Road before Christmas.

Discarded food wrappers, plastic bottles and drink cans were among the litter dropped along the two-mile route.

HRE Engineer Muhammad Musa said:

“As we’re working nearby on a million-pound renovation of Wheatley Viaduct we wanted to offer our services to the Siddal volunteers, who have been working very hard to keep the area free of litter.

“It is disappointing to see how much rubbish has been thrown onto the roadsides and we would urge people to take their rubbish home - if people didn’t drop litter in the first place it wouldn’t need to be picked up.” 

Littering is a social problem across the country and is a threat to drivers, the environment and wildlife. It can also block drains and forces us to close roads to ensure roadworkers can safely clear up the mess. 

Group organiser Toni Holmes said:

“It was absolutely lovely to have the Amco Griffen guys with us today helping with litter picking, they are welcome on our team any time.

“Halifax has a very big litter and fly tipping problem. In our area alone, Siddal Community Clean Up have amassed a total of 2020 bags of litter this year. This includes the clearing of fly tipped things at Elland Wood and Exley Bank as part of the great British Spring Clean.”

Dave Martin, Senior project manager at AmcoGiffen added:

“It’s a real eye opener to see how much litter has been dropped and we’re pleased we can join Siddal Community Clean Up and do our bit to help spruce up the area for Christmas.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with the volunteers and we’ll be taking part in further litter picks in the New Year as well as clearing fly tipped rubbish from the Wheatley Viaduct site.”

Renovation work on the Victorian Wheatly Viaduct started at the end of last month and includes:

  • cutting back vegetation from trees surrounding the viaduct to gain access.
  • repairing brickwork and masonry including re-mortaring and ‘stitching’ together one of the piers with structural reinforcement anchors.
  • cutting out and replacing areas of water damaged brickwork and masonry from the arches and piers.
  • re-bedding displaced or loose masonry as well as replacing replace missing masonry
  • installing a waterproofing system to the full length of the viaduct deck, complete with drainage to carry water from the structure.

The work is scheduled to be completed in May 2024 subject to the need for additional works which may be identified on site during the works. The volunteers are planning another litter pick in the spring.

The HRE is a collection of over 3,100 structures and assets which were once part of Britain's rail network. Since 2013 National Highways has been responsible for looking after it. Many of the structures were built more than 100 years ago.