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Plans for three new Leeds railway stations unveiled

Leeds is set to get three new railway stations as part of a £270m transport strategy set to be unveiled tomorrow.

A new parkway station will be built on the existing Leeds to Harrogate line at Leeds Airport, while new stations will also be built at Thorpe Park and White Rose Shopping Centre & Office Park.

The scheme was designed after Patrick McLoughlin, then transport secretary, blocked plans for a Leeds trolleybus scheme, meaning that the council had to decide how to reinvest £173.5m of DfT money by 2021. If the plans are approved, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and private partners will provide the rest of the funding, bringing the total budget to over £270m.

Cllr Judith Butler, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Providing a connection by rail to the airport has long been an ambition for the city and this plan will deliver it in a cost-effective way, along with two other new stations at the White Rose Shopping Centre and Thorpe Park to help drive forward job creation, productivity and economic growth.

“Options for a mass transit scheme are still very much under consideration, but it needs to be right for the whole city and the reality is such a scheme would need a lot more investment and would take a lot longer to deliver, whereas there is a clear priority need to deliver changes now in order to get Leeds moving.”

The decision was made following a survey of more than 8,000 people, which found a strong desire for short- and medium-term improvements to the Leeds transport system – including a demand for better rail and bus services, park and ride options, reduced congestion and improved accessibility and connectivity.

Other promised rail improvements in Leeds include enhanced access at Cross Gates, Morley and Horsforth stations, car park expansion at New Pudsey to increase its park & ride capacity, longer trains and more frequent services, and phasing out the Pacers by 2020.

Gerald Jennings, president of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce, said that the additional rail links would “aid economic growth and connect businesses conveniently to the widest possible workforce”.

The Leeds Transport Strategy was guided by the WYCA and the Leeds transport advisory panel, which is chaired by Nigel Foster, the director of strategy at Transport for the North.

The strategy will need to be approved by the Leeds City Council executive board before going on to transport secretary Chris Grayling for consideration.

In October, the city council also announced that it had awarded the contract to remodel Leeds station in preparation for HS2 and HS3 to a consortium led by Atkins.

(Image c. Alvey and Towers)

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Andrew Gwilt   07/12/2016 at 18:05

I do think its a good idea to have a new railway station close to Leeds-Bradford Airport with a new direct service from Leeds and Bradford to the international airport that does serve both cities and most parts of Yorkshire.

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