Responding to reports about the uncertainty of Northern Powerhouse Rail plans

Responding to reports about the uncertainty of Northern Powerhouse Rail plans, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire

Responding to reports about the uncertainty of Northern Powerhouse Rail plans, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “I have contacted the Transport Secretary to seek urgent clarity around this matter.

“Bradford is a city with great potential and opportunity, but if we are to see this fantastic place grow and prosper then it needs the NPR new line going through it with a new major station for Bradford. How can it be right that the 6th biggest city in the UK does not have an adequate rail service"

“We have been consistently clear that we need a transport system that works for people who live here, and this means having a NPR stop in Bradford. We welcome the Transpennine Route Upgrade programme, but we’ve been clear that this should be as well as Northern Powerhouse Rail, not instead of it. By having the right transport infrastructure, I believe that there are no limits to what the city of Bradford could achieve. 

“However, if these reports were true the implications go far beyond the city of Bradford, they would impact people across the region. We need our communities to be better connected across the North, to more employment and education opportunities in bigger cities like Leeds and Manchester. We need to ensure the region as a whole benefits from a joined-up rail system that meets their needs.

“So, I ask Government to listen to the voices of the North about what we need, the Transport for the North proposals are clear in including Bradford city central on the NPR new line and have been agreed by all Northern leaders.

“Reported plans for the TRU upgrade would also risk local services being cut in the future, as well as a less robust transport system with too much reliance on one line across the Pennines. This means there would be the potential for an issue at one of the other main stations to grind the whole rail system across the North to a halt. An alternative line via Bradford would therefore make the whole system more robust and reliable for users in the future, as well as boosting our region’s infrastructure and connectivity.

“If we are to truly level-up the North, then the Northern Powerhouse Rail plan, with a line through Bradford, is absolutely crucial to ensuring our towns and cities are not left behind ever again.”