Urban Transit

Developing an advanced Leeds City Region system that supports its priorities of raising productivity, delivering inclusive growth and addressing the climate emergency through clean growth.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority is seeking ideas and experience from across the world to aid the development of a mass transit system for the Leeds City Region. 

With a population of three million and an economy of £69.6 billion GVA, the Leeds City Region remains the largest metropolitan area in Europe without an urban transit system.  

Now, the Combined Authority has started developing proposals for an advanced Leeds City Region system that supports its priorities of raising productivity, delivering inclusive growth and addressing the climate emergency through clean growth. 

Working with acknowledged experts in the field, the University of Huddersfield’s Institute for Railway Research and University of Leeds’ Institute for Transport Studies, the Combined Authority now wants to hear from companies and consortia across the globe about the latest techniques and technologies that could help meet the City Region’s future transport needs..  

The views of promoters, manufacturers, suppliers, constructors, engineers, system developers and operators of the best urban transit systems across the world are being sought. Through this market testing process, West Yorkshire Combined Authority aims to develop initial designs for an advanced urban transit system that can be delivered by 2033 and which ensures the whole of the Leeds City Region can benefit from the arrival of the new High Speed 2, the Northern Powerhouse Rail lines and the £2.9bn trans-Pennine rail route upgrade.  

Organisations and individuals responding to the market testing are being asked to consider a system with end-to-end routes of between 10 and 30km, with frequent city centre stops and stops every kilometre or so in other areas. Routes, they are being told, could run through pedestrian and heritage environments in city centres and urban areas. 

Vehicles are expected to enable 200 to 300 people to get on/off at every stop and could be traditional light rail or tram train running on steel wheels, or bus rapid transit-based running on rubber tyres. They are expected to have an operational life of 20 to 30 years. 

Among the respondents from which West Yorkshire Combined Authority hopes to hear are providers, promoters and operators of existing urban transit systems, industry suppliers, technology providers, system developers and urban transport vehicle and infrastructure manufacturers of from across the world. 

World-wide bus companies, including those already operating within West Yorkshire, academia and research institutions, city planners, engineering and construction companies and consultancies are also being invited to take part. 

How to apply

Expressions of interest to take part in the market engagement were required by the end of October and the companies that did register have until Friday 20 December to submit their responses.

To ensure a level playing field for all contributors, there was a formal procurement process through a Prior Invitation Notice.

Download the prospectus and details of the market testing process.