Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, unveiled plans for a new railway station in the heart of Bradford that would extend the city center and open in 2030.
Supported by a coalition consisted of Transport for the North, Network Rail, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Northern Powerhouse partnership and a host of other organizations and private sector businesses.
Hinchcliffe said, “It is disgraceful that a place the size of Bradford is still not on the mainline. We have two local stations that are not fit for purpose, or properly linked at all.
The proposed Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) mainline route would link Leeds and Manchester and form part of a wider network running east to west across the country. Bradford’s inclusion on NPR is expected to add millions to the economy and create 27,000 jobs.
The announcement comes ahead of the publication of the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan, which it is hoped will set out a timetable for the delivery of not only Northern Powerhouse Rail but also the Birmingham-Leeds section of the HS2 network.
“We stand on the cusp of a fantastic opportunity for this city to grow and fulfil its destiny. As we continue to battle the Covid pandemic, we are also planning for our future” she added.
Revealing details of the plans, Bradford Council said the scheme – estimated to cost £500m– it would slash train journey times between Leeds and Bradford to just seven minutes.
The railways station will be at the six-acre St James’s Market site at Essex Street which is owned by the Council and is opposite the Cineworld cinema, just a short walk from the Interchange station that it would eventually replace. It is also just off the A650 Wakefield Road and is only minutes away from the M606 link to the motorway network.
Hinchliffe fruthermore said “The Prime Minister said he supported an NPR route between Leeds and Manchester back in summer 2019 but we are still waiting for that commitment to be backed up.
“It often feels as if Bradford, the UK’s seventh largest city and one of its most diverse, doesn’t really feature when decisions are being made in Whitehall.
“We now have a station site, on the edge of the city centre and at the heart of our Southern Gateway regeneration area, that is viable, deliverable and within our control.”