West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Committee is being asked to approve £2.611 million funding toward the development of the new White Rose rail station that will improve links to employment and training opportunities for people in the area.
Located in south Leeds on the Leeds to Dewsbury section of the main trans-Pennine rail line, the new station will serve the White Rose office park, including Elliott Hudson College. It will also connect local communities including Cottingley, Churwell, Middleton and Millshaw.
Growth in rail demand
Plans for the new station are being developed in partnership with White Rose Office Park owners Munroe K and Leeds City Council as part of the £270 million Connecting Leeds programme. Over 340,000 trips per year are forecast to be made through the station, with almost 180,000 of those journeys being made by new rail users. The station will also help absorb the 67 per cent growth in rail demand expected by 2043.
A pre-Planning consultation on the White Rose station proposals is underway following an initial public engagement which took place last year.
Space to expand
Platforms at the station will be full accessible and designed for six-carriage trains with space to expand to accommodate eight-car trains in future. There will be drop-off and pick-up points for buses and other vehicles and the development will mean new and upgraded cycle routes and pedestrian pathways.
Cllr Peter Box, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Committee said: “We currently have 69 stations on the West Yorkshire rail network, with proposals for this station at White Rose and two others, at Elland and Leeds Bradford Airport in the pipeline and a £3.3 million upgrade of Castleford rail station due to start later this year.
“Rail stations play an important role in supporting the local economy, linking people to vital services and opportunities and achieving our environmental commitments and we are also investing over £30 million from the West Yorkshire- plus Transport Fund to create 2,000 additional parking spaces at 14 of them. Extra opportunities for people to park and ride at stations are increasing their access to the rail network, reducing congestion and improving local air quality.”
Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee and a Middleton ward councillor said: “A new station serving the White Rose Office Park would result in improved transport links across the area and would act as a catalyst for local regeneration and housing growth, economic activity and jobs in the surrounding area.
“This would mean new opportunities for people in my own ward of Middleton and for the communities of Cottingley, Churwell and Millshaw and Morley.”
Connecting Leeds, the long-term transport strategy for Leeds, aims to improve all aspects of transport and travel in the city and connect people to the wider Leeds City Region. The Connecting Leeds programme will see an unprecedented £270 million invested in the city’s transport network.
For the scheme to progress, a substantial consultation will take place in 2020 to ensure the needs of local communities are met.
Photo: West Yorkshire Combined Authority