The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is asking the Government to back its ambitious plans to upgrade the Leeds City Region transport network.
A bid for a share of the Government’s £840 million Transforming Cities Fund has been submitted by the Combined Authority. The submission sets out proposals to improve public transport along four key routes in the Leeds City Region and upgrade connections to eight rail stations.
If successful, the submission will allow the Combined Authority to develop detailed plans over the next six months.
The bid is focused on transforming transport connections for those communities most in need of access to jobs, services and education. Priorities set out in the submission including creating healthy streets, supporting cycling and walking as well as exploring the opportunities offered by new technology.
A key focus of the submission is the need for investment at Leeds Station to ensure it is ready for the arrival of HS2 and seamlessly integrates high speed services with Northern Powerhouse Rail, upgraded local services and other transport connections.
The bid is supported by the University of Leeds and through the next stage the Combined Authority would look to develop innovative transport solutions for the 21st century that will not only improve accessibility and mobility but also improve productivity through investing in industry-leading research and development.
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, said:
“We have a strong track record of delivering major transport projects. We have opened three new rail stations, including Low Moor and Apperley Bridge in my own district, the Bradford-Leeds Cycle Superhighway, new roads, park-and-ride schemes and supported better bus services.
“Our ambitious programme of investment continues through our £1 billion West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund but we know we can deliver more with the right Government support.
“Our Transforming Cities Fund bid is a real opportunity for Government to invest here to connect everyone in the region with economic growth.”
Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and member of the Combined Authority, said:
“Our Transforming Cities Fund bid builds on the improvements we are already making, including through the Connecting Leeds programme delivering new rail stations, more reliable bus services and reduced congestion.
“To achieve the better standard of living and inclusive growth we want for all our communities and to maximise the benefits of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, we need investment on a truly transformational scale and that is the ambition set out in our bid.”
The four key routes that are the focus of the submission are:
• Leeds – Bradford – Halifax (Calder Valley)
• Bradford to Dewsbury through North Kirklees
• Wakefield/Barnsley – Leeds
• Five Towns – Leeds
The eight stations are:
• Leeds Station Gateway
• Bradford Interchange and Bradford Forster Square
The corridors and stations were identified in partnership with Leeds City Region councils on the basis of their economic need and the Transforming Cities Fund criteria