Major improvements at Leeds Station inside and out

New Station Street and main concourse upgrades come to fruition

7 October 2019

Works to improve Leeds rail station’s welcome to the city through improvements to its main concourse and the upgrade of New Station Street have come to fruition.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s £2.1 million West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund scheme to upgrade New Station Street has resulted in a significantly enlarged pedestrian forecourt outside the main station entrance and towards City Square. Almost 1,200 square-metres of asphalt have been laid and over 1,500 square-metres of footway replaced. 

New shelters and real-time displays

Brand new bus shelters and yournextbus real-time displays, and a new pedestrian crossing have been installed and the whole of New Station Street has been resurfaced.

For over a year, Network Rail has worked to install a new, transparent roof over the main concourse to replace the old, wooden and dark structure. The new roof allows natural light to flood the station, brightening up the area and making the station feel more open. The new roof has used the same design as the southern entrance and has a modern look befitting of the city.

Improving flow

Inside the station, new ticket barriers in a simpler alignment have also been installed, improving flow through the station and these are now in operation. The main toilets at the station have also been revamped. All of this work has completed without causing any impact on train services and the station has remained open throughout the work.

Cllr Peter Carlill West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee and Leeds City Council member said: “The work on New Station Street has transformed the environment outside the main entrance, making it more spacious, more inviting and easier to use for rail users and bus passengers.

“As well as creating a more fitting gateway for people arriving in the city, the improvements will mean quicker and easier travel and interchange between train and us for pedestrians, particularly during peak times.”

Rob McIntosh, Managing Director, Eastern, for Network Rail, said: “In the last year, we have seen the main concourse at Leeds station transformed. The open and inviting area is almost unrecognisable from the previous dingy and dark atmosphere and we are delighted that that station users are benefitting from this and we would like to thank them for their patience whilst this took place.

Cllr Judith Blake CBE, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “These improvements are real steps forward to creating a world class city centre gateway for residents, visitors and commuters.

“Leeds City Station plays a vital role in linking to the local transport network and is also key to connectivity in the North of England, with more than 34 million passengers passing through each year. These improvements will provide a much better experience for all who use the station as we continue its development to meet the ever-growing demand for rail travel now and in the future.”

Continued improvement

Network Rail has also announced that work to improve the station will continue, with projects to improve the flooring in the main concourse, refurbish all of the toilets on the platform, redesign and relocate the station reception and make improvements to the canopies on New Station Street.

Rob McIntosh added: “We are committed to creating a station which Leeds can be proud of. We will now move onto phase two of the project which will see further upgrades, including to the flooring and toilets and we continue to work with both WYCA and Leeds City Council on this.”

The West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund is supported through the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.  

Leeds City Council’s Connecting Leeds programme, the long-term transport strategy for Leeds, which aims to improve all aspects of transport and travel in the city and connect people to the wider Leeds City Region. Connecting Leeds will see unprecedented £270 million invested in the city’s transport network. 

Find out more about the work the Combined Authority is doing to improve transport.