Mayor: High-speed links vital to region's prosperity

Select Committee report shows case against high-speed to Bradford rail not proven

Responding to today’s publication by the Transport Select Committee on the report into the government’s Integrated Rail Plan, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

“I’m pleased to see that the Select Committee’s report confirms what we said when the Integrated Rail Plan was first published and has taken on board the evidence I presented.

“The Government must ensure that the impact of Northern Powerhouse Rail decisions on Bradford in particular is robustly assessed against levelling up criteria, including producing benefit-cost ratio analyses for all NPR options. This is consistent with the spirit of commitments previously made by the current Prime Minister to investigate all the options for Northern Powerhouse Rail.

“The redevelopment of the St James’s Market site as a new station for Bradford would not only facilitate further investment in the city but also enhance rail connectivity in the North.

“We’ve been waiting eight months for Government to start work on how to bring HS2 to Leeds, so I welcome the report’s recommendation that a timetable for this work, including a firm date for the final report, be published by September 2022. This is essential for demonstrating that the commitment made to Leeds for high-speed connections will be fulfilled.

“It’s also vital that the Government commits to supporting redevelopment of Leeds station by 2035 so that it has sufficient capacity to accommodate services planned under the IRP, including HS2 trains arriving in Leeds.

“We are ready to work with Government on all of the recommendations in the report, as we can see the benefits they will bring to everyone in West Yorkshire.”