FAQs

From how the Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) programme is funded to why it's important, we cover the answers to some of the questions you may have.

What is the Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) programme?

Providing an accessible, attractive and cleaner alternative to car journeys is at the heart of Leeds City Region’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) - a major new programme of transport infrastructure investment secured as part of the West Yorkshire devolution deal.

The programme will be funded through £317 million from the Department for Transport (DfT) plus local match funding of up to £140 million. 

In partnership with local authorities, the Combined Authority will deliver transformational infrastructure, which will dramatically improve people’s access to walking, cycling and public transport.

It is estimated TCF schemes will improve journeys by bus, rail, bike and on foot for up to 1.5 million people, take up to 12 million car trips per year off our roads and reduce CO2 emissions from car travel by up to 15,000 tonnes by 2036. 

Communities across Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York are set to benefit from the schemes, which include new or improved bus and rail stations, cycling and walking infrastructure, and new Park and Rides.

What will be delivered through the TCF programme?

The programme will deliver:

  • two new Park & Rides;
  • one new rail station;
  • four new foot and cycle bridges;
  • five new or improved bus stations and interchange hubs;
  • new high quality cycle routes along six corridors;
  • bus priority along six key bus routes to create more reliable and faster bus journey times;
  • 800 new cycle parking spaces;
  • seven improvements to Rail Station Gateways;
  • new Real Time Information and improved passenger experience across the network.

 Which organisations are involved?

The Combined Authority is working in partnership with local authority colleagues from Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, North Yorkshire, Selby, Wakefield and York councils on the TCF programme.

What benefits will the TCF programme bring?

It is estimated TCF will:

  • improve journeys by bus, rail, bike and on foot for up to 1.5 million people;
  • take up to 12 million car trips per year off our roads by 2036;
  • make 33 million rail journeys easier by improvements to rail stations;
  • increase bus, rail, and walking and cycling trips by up to 6%, 4% and 7% respectively by 2036;
  • reduce CO2 emissions by up to 1.5% / 15,000 tonnes from car travel by 2036;
  • create more than 1,000 jobs and add up to £1 billion to the economy by 2036;
  • support connectivity to 650 housing sites and 220 employment sites.

How is the TCF programme funded?

As part of the West Yorkshire devolution deal, the Combined Authority secured £317 million from the DfT’s TCF to deliver schemes in the low-cost scenario.

Since then, the Combined Authority has approved the use of future gain share funding, alongside other income streams, to deliver the high-cost scenario up to an additional £140 million. 

This additional funding will help us deliver more transport improvements, which will benefit communities across West Yorkshire.

Why is this work important? / Why is this money being spent on TCF at this time?

This work is more important than ever, not only as we look to address the health and economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also in helping us achieve our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.

We need to reduce car trips by 21% and increase cycling trips by 2,000%, walking trips by 78%, bus strips by 39% and rail trips by 53% if we are to achieve our ambitious net zero targets in this time frame.

The programme will connect people to economic and education opportunities through accessible, affordable, attractive and cleaner transport, boosting productivity and helping to create healthier and happier communities for the future. 

Through the programme and building on the significant progress already made, the Combined Authority is working in partnership to transform our town and city centres for walking and cycling, improve bus reliability and journey times, and investing in our region to prepare for HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and the Transpennine Route Upgrade.

Who will benefit?

Communities across Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York are set to benefit from the schemes, which include new or improved bus and rail stations, cycling and walking infrastructure, and new Park and Rides.

The programme is focused on connecting people in the communities of greatest economic need with job and training opportunities.  This will, in turn, help boost productivity, living standards and air quality.  

When do projects get underway?

There are 22 packages of schemes, comprising between 30 and 35 individual projects, within the overall programme.

Different schemes are at different stages, right through from the development of business cases and designs, to gearing up for public consultation, with Halifax Bus Station redevelopment due to start on site in spring 2021. 

Find out more information at westyorks-ca.gov.uk/TCF

When will the programme of works be completed?

The schemes funded through the DfT need to be delivered by spring 2023, with schemes financed by local match funding being delivered beyond these timescales.

How is the programme impacted by COVID-19?

To date, there has been minimal impact of the programme as a result of COVID-19.  The majority of the projects are at the early stages of development and much of the work required can be carried out virtually.  As the schemes move to the next stage we will continue to monitor the impact and identify any risks to delivery. 

The Combined Authority is looking at best practice ways of delivering public consultations and engagement activity to ensure all members of the community get the opportunity to have their say on TCF schemes during COVID-19. 

The full implications of COVID-19 on the region, its economy and the transport system are still to be understood and the impact on the Combined Authority’s programmes and schemes to date has been mixed.

We are working closely with our local authority partners at every level of our appraisal process to ensure delivery timescales have taken into account the current issues and that each scheme is stress tested to ensure its ongoing viability.

In the wake of COVID-19 it is more important than ever to assess the changes to the landscapes of our towns and cities, and the impact on current and future planned schemes, particularly, but not exclusively, those relating to transport.

The impact of COVID-19 in relation to travel behaviour into and around towns and cities is assessed as part of each scheme’s appraisal.

While public transport patronage is currently lower than pre COVID-19 levels, it remains a priority to invest in public transport infrastructure to both help with economic recovery and to have the required infrastructure in place to respond to an increase in demand post-COVID-19.

As part of West Yorkshire’s devolution deal, £317 million was secured to deliver the Leeds City Region TCF programme but it will cost more than this to deliver the schemes outlined in the bid. What does this mean?

A range of options are being developed as part of each business case to determine the best scheme, which will include a range of options up to the high cost scenario.

As part of the devolution deal, the Combined Authority secured £317 million from the DfT’s TCF to deliver schemes in the low-cost scenario.

Since then, the Combined Authority has approved the use of future gain share funding, alongside other income streams, to deliver the high-cost scenario up to £140 million.

How does TCF complement other transport infrastructure schemes being delivered across the region?

It will build on the significant investment already made through the Combined Authority’s other programmes, such as the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, Connecting Leeds and CityConnect.

Many of the TCF schemes provide enhancements or extensions to the projects being delivered through these programmes, helping to spread the benefits across a wider geography. 

The programme is focused on connecting people in the communities of greatest economic need with job and training opportunities.  This will, in turn, help boost productivity, living standards and air quality.  

Find out more information about the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund.

Find out more information about Connecting Leeds.

Find out more information about CityConnect.

Where can I find out more information?

Find out more information about the Transforming Cities Fund programme.

How can I have my say on schemes in my area?

Public consultation and engagement activities are scheduled to take place in 2021. 

Details of the TCF consultations can be found at www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk.  You can get in touch with the Combined Authority’s Consultation and Engagement team via YourVoice@westyorks-ca.gov.uk, 0113 245 7676 or Freepost CONSULTATION TEAM (WYCA).  Please note that, due to COVID-19, the majority of the Combined Authority’s staff are working from home and there will therefore be significant delays in receiving any postal contributions. If you can, please contact the team using another method to ensure a quick response.

How was the bid developed?

The bid was led by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority in partnership with the 10 local authorities across the Leeds City Region. It was developed in two stages, with a Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) submitted to the DfT in June 2019. The final bid was submitted to the DfT in November 2019. The bid documents can be found at westyorks-ca.gov.uk/improving-transport/transforming-cities-fund/the-programme/.

Who was the bid developed with?

The bid was developed in partnership with local authorities across the Leeds City Region, including Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, North Yorkshire, Selby, Wakefield and York. The bid was also co-developed with the DfT, which provided feedback on the plans as they emerged.  In line with other Mayoral Combined Authorities, we are required to feedback on the progress of the programme’s delivery. 

How were decisions made around which schemes to include in the bid?

The programme is focused on connecting people in the communities of greatest economic need with job and training opportunities.  This will, in turn, help boost productivity, living standards and air quality.  

As part of the bidding process, the Combined Authority was asked to develop a series of schemes, which could be delivered under three different cost scenarios (low, core and high).  Each scheme needed to meet the Combined Authority’s priorities, as well as objectives set out by the DfT, such as reducing carbon emissions, and increasing capacity for commuters with better access to employment centres, especially from disadvantaged communities.

Schemes put forward by local authorities were scored against the objectives before being reviewed as a programme.  Once agreement had been reached between local authority and Combined Authority officers, the programme was signed off by each of the leaders, as well as members of the Combined Authority’s Transport Committee.