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16.10.14

High speed rail link to Leeds Bradford Airport ‘vital’ – MP claims

The only viable option for creating a transport link to Leeds Bradford Airport is a new high-speed rail line, Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew has stated. 

Speaking during a Westminster Hall debate, he said it would be a harebrained scheme if passengers arriving in Leeds on the proposed £40bn HS2 link were not able to get a train from the centre to the airport.

He said the Department for Transport, which is studying the various transport schemes available, has said there is potential for the international airport to expand its passenger volume to more than nine million by 2050, up from the current 3.5 million. 

However, Andrew said this would only be achievable with a rai link to boost the local economy. “I know the current study is looking at a range of options,” said Andrew. “At this stage I would personally advocate going with the Stage One approach that will link the airport to the existing Leeds, Horsforth and Harrogate line. 

“This would mean that a journey time as little as nine minutes would be possible from the centre of Leeds. It would be a pipedream for anyone trying to access the airport via road.” 

Currently, about 85-90% of airport passengers arrive by car, which Andrew and other local MPs claim causes major congestion. 

Transport minister Robert Goodwill MP said a government feasibility study on improving ground-level transport links was due to report soon. 

“Whatever action the government decides to take on the study’s recommendation individual scheme proposals such as a new road or rail link would need to be subject to further evaluation and require statutory consent before they could proceed,” he said. “This would provide the opportunity for further consultation and public comments should people have concerns they wish to bring forward.” 

(Image: c. Mtaylor848)

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