Celebrations as Leeds reaps benefits of major station improvements – and more investment to come
Network Rail, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Council have today (Wednesday, 9 October) celebrated the results of major investment at Leeds station, which has vastly improved the area for people arriving in the city and announced that more upgrades are to come.
For over a year, Network Rail has worked to install a new, transparent roof over the main concourse to replace the old, wooden and dark structure. The new roof allows natural light to flood the station, brightening up the area and making the station feel more open. The new roof has used the same design as the southern entrance and has a modern look befitting of the city.
Inside the station, new ticket barriers in a simpler alignment have also been installed, improving flow through the station and these are now in operation. The main toilets at the station have also been revamped. All of this work has completed without causing any impact on train services and the station has remained open throughout the work.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s £2.1 million West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund scheme to upgrade New Station Street has resulted in a significantly enlarged pedestrian forecourt outside the main station entrance and towards City Square. Brand new bus shelters and yournextbus real-time displays, and a new pedestrian crossing have been installed and the whole of New Station Street has been resurfaced.
The West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund is supported through the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.
Today, Network Rail has announced that work to improve the station will continue, with projects to improve the flooring in the main concourse, refurbish all of the toilets on the platforms, redesign and relocate the station reception and make improvements to the canopies on New Station Street.
Rob McIntosh, Managing Director, Eastern, for Network Rail, said: “In the last year, we have seen the main concourse at Leeds station transformed. The open and inviting area is almost unrecognisable from the previous dingy and dark atmosphere and we are delighted that that station users are benefitting from this and we would like to thank them for their patience whilst this took place.
“We are committed to creating a station which Leeds can be proud of. We will now move onto phase two of the project which will see further upgrades, including to the flooring and toilets and we continue to work with both West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Council on this.”
Cllr Judith Blake CBE, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “These improvements are real steps forward to creating a world class city centre gateway for residents, visitors and commuters.
“Leeds City Station plays a vital role in linking to the local transport network and is also key to connectivity in the North of England, with more than 34 million passengers passing through each year. These improvements will provide a much better experience for all who use the station as we continue its development to meet the ever-growing demand for rail travel now and in the future.”
Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee member Cllr Peter Carlill said: “The work on New Station Street has transformed the environment outside the main entrance, making it more spacious, more inviting and easier to use for rail users and bus passengers.
“As well as creating a more fitting gateway for people arriving in the city, the improvements will mean quicker and easier travel and interchange between train and us for pedestrians, particularly during peak times.”