Quarry traffic by rail

Quarry traffic by rail from the quarries around Horton-in-Ribblesdale has long been one of FoSCL's wishes.  There are far too many heavy lorries transporting limestone from these quarries on the surrounding roads and through Settle.  Fortunately things are now starting to move.  The Yorkshire Dales National Park share our objectives on this and have sent the following reply to one of our members.


"The NP Management Plan contains the following objective:


‘Minimise road haulage and maximise the use of rail to transport quarry products and commercial timber, including establishing rail links at the three quarries in Ribblesdale and reducing combined road haulage from these quarries by at least 50% by 2015’.


This is a fairly ambitious objective, which depends on the co-operation of the quarry companies.  The current position at the various sites is:


Dry Rigg and Arcow Quarries.  These two quarries at Helwith Bridge are now operated by one company, a Lafarge Tarmac Joint Venture.  The company are proposing to install rail sidings in Arcow that would be used by both quarries.  We have received an Environmental Scoping Report for this project and a copy of this is attached.  This is a first stage of submitting a planning application for the development and we expect to receive an application later in the summer.


In addition, the company has agreed to reduce total road haulage from Dry Rigg from 350,000 tonnes to 150,000 tonnes per year from the end of 2013.  At Arcow the road haulage limit has been reduced from 350,000 to 250,000 tonnes, with a further reduction to 150,000 tonnes when the sidings are commissioned.  This does not mean the replacement of all road haulage, but it should provide a definite improvement.


Horton Quarry.  This quarry is operated by Hanson and we are in discussion with the company about the re-instatement of the rail link to the site.  The company are actively pursuing this project, but it is less well advanced than the Arcow scheme.


Ribblehead Sidings.  The sidings, which are owned by Hanson, are being used for the transport of timber from a number of local forestry operations.  This is seen as a very successful scheme, involving several trains each week.


I hope this shows that the National Park is working in co-operation with the quarry companies and other organisations to improve the current situation and to maximise the use of rail.  I would also mention that at Swinden Quarry in Wharfedale around 60% of sales are now carried by rail."

Update 18/03/2016: The new siding at Helwith Bridge for Lefarge-Tarmac's Dry Rigg and Arcow Quarries is now operational - see the Structure Summary for Structure ID: 240950.

Last updated by Richard Morris on 19/03/2016