Every day is a stations day in West Yorkshire says Transport Chair
Local stations help support economy and environmental commitments says Cllr Kim Groves
As we await the revelation of the Rail Delivery Group’s first ever World Cup of Stations winner, for which Huddersfield is a semi-finalist, Cllr Kim Groves who chairs the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee said:
“I would like to offer my congratulations to Huddersfield and all the stations in the Rail Delivery Group’s finals but I also want to stress the importance of all our local stations in supporting the local economy, linking people to vital services and opportunities and achieving our environmental commitments.
“The recent opening of Apperley Bridge, Kirkstall Forge and Low Moor saw the total number of stations on the West Yorkshire rail network rise to 69 and we have proposals for more, including Elland, Leeds Bradford Airport and White Rose, in the pipeline. And a £3.3 million upgrade of Castleford rail station is due to start later this year.
“In addition, we are investing over £30 million from the West Yorkshire- plus Transport Fund in a Rail Park & Ride Programme, which will result in up to 2,000 additional parking spaces at 14 local stations.
“More rail park and ride spaces increase people’s access to the rail network, which in turn helps reduce congestion and improve local air quality as well as enhancing people’s access to jobs, training and apprenticeship opportunities.”
Attracting new businesses
In Elland, a new rail station will generate new jobs by making it more attractive to new businesses while at the same time supporting existing local businesses. Calderdale Council and the Combined Authority are now developing a full business case with detailed designs for the scheme, which would also include improvements to the local cycle network and new pedestrian and cycle bridges crossing the River Calder and Calder Hebble Navigation.
Plans to improve links to Leeds Bradford Airport, which include building a new rail station. The new parkway station would be located on the existing Harrogate line, with a regular shuttle bus link to Leeds Bradford Airport's terminal building and include a park and ride facility for journeys to and from Leeds and North Yorkshire.
People are currently being invited to submit their views on the planned White Rose station, which would serve the White Rose shopping centre and office park as well as connecting local communities and creating employment opportunities in the area. Details of how to get in touch about the scheme, which is part of the Connecting Leeds programme can be found at www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/whiteroserailstation
Also there are proposals for a railway station to serve the established and expanding Thorpe Park which would improve transport links for employees and visitors and meet local demand for park and ride for commuters.Implementation of the proposal is subject to availability of funding and further assessment in business case and technical viability.
Increasing park and ride spaces
Schemes to increase parking spaces at 14 West Yorkshire rail stations, have already been completed at Fitzwilliam, Mirfield and South Elmsall and work on an extension is underway at Garforth. Plans to transform Castleford’s rail station include new, high-quality passenger waiting facilities with a ticket vending machine, a disabled toilet and sheltered cycle parking and the refurbishment of the car park. And proposals to regenerate Huddersfield station with a new Eastern entrance and improved access are also in the pipeline.
Cllr Groves added:
“We now need to see the level of investment West Yorkshire Combined Authority and its partners are making in our local stations and their facilities, which includes the recently-completed £2.1 million upgrade to New Station Street and the significantly enlarged pedestrian forecourt outside Leeds station entrance, matched by the government.”
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.
Leeds City Council’s Connecting Leeds programme, the long-term transport strategy for Leeds, which aims to improve all aspects of transport and travel in the city and connect people to the wider Leeds City Region. Connecting Leeds will see unprecedented £270 million invested in the city’s transport network.