Mayor tells Transport Secretary that rail plan will limit West Yorkshire’s growth “for many decades to come”

In a letter to Grant Shapps, West Yorkshire Mayor, Tracy Brabin, says that communities “feel betrayed” by the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) and that it is “simply not good enough for West Yorkshire”.

Mayor tells Transport Secretary that rail plan will limit West Yorkshire’s growth “for many decades to come”

In a letter to Grant Shapps, West Yorkshire Mayor, Tracy Brabin, says that communities “feel betrayed” by the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) and that it is “simply not good enough for West Yorkshire”.

She stresses she will not give up on her campaign for the delivery of high-speed services to Leeds and Northern Powerhouse Rail, with a stop in central Bradford.

She warns the Secretary of State that failure to deliver both projects will cause long-term damage to the region, and she wants to make sure that she and other West Yorkshire leaders are allowed to work jointly with Government on its rail plans to avoid this happening.

And she asked for clarity on the funding for the mass transit system for West Yorkshire.

She says in the letter: "The plan will limit the growth and potential of West Yorkshire for many decades to come. I would like to make it clear to you that this will not be the end of our ambition.

“Northern Powerhouse Rail, with a stop in central Bradford, and delivery of high-speed services to Leeds via Sheffield, are core to the existing future plans for these cities and the wider region.

They would be transformational for our economy, for decarbonisation, and the additional rail capacity we need. I will not stop making the case for either of these projects.”

Now she’s asking the Secretary of State for clarification on the details of IRP and is pressing for assurances that she and other West Yorkshire leaders will be involved in how it is rolled out.

She calls for a “truly joint piece of work” on the study the Government says it needs to establish how a high-speed link which would replace the HS2 leg to Leeds can be achieved.

“By working together, we can conclude, once and for all, the high-speed rail solution for Leeds and Sheffield and the connections onwards to East Midlands and London to restore business confidence.”

And she urges the Transport Secretary not to allow “yet another study” to distract from the urgent need to address capacity issues at Leeds Station.

On mass transit for West Yorkshire, the Mayor asks the Secretary of State to confirm how the £100m committed for project planning in the IRP will be allocated.

And she says people in Bradford urgently need to know how they can connect with the rest of the north, with a new city centre station not included in the government’s plans, even though it would slash journey times to Manchester by two thirds and take thousands of vehicles off the roads.

She welcomes the Government’s commitment to a TransPennine Route Upgrade, but is asking for clarity on what will be done to ease the disruption which the work will cause along the route in towns such as Huddersfield and to ensure local services are protected.

You can read a copy of the letter here