Planning transport for Leeds City Region growth

5 November 2018

Next Friday's West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee meeting is being asked to back a report that recommends starting a conversation with the public and businesses around new transport connections for the region.

The report says the arrival of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail will have a significant impact on the number of journeys on key local routes and suggests that to meet the level of demand and deliver Inclusive Growth, mass transit could have a significant role to play as part of an integrated, 21st-Century transport system.

If the report is agreed, in the New Year, people living and working in West Yorkshire will be able to have their say on the role a mass transit system might play in improving local journeys beyond the investment already being made in road, rail and bus services by the Combined Authority and its partners.

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: "The Combined Authority and our partners are looking carefully at where people will live and work in the coming decades and how their travelling needs could be met.

"In the New Year we plan to speak to the public, businesses and others about the role a mass transit system could play in the future and the communities it could connect."

The report contains a plan which shows a potential mass transit network stretching from Leeds into Bradford, North Kirklees and the Wakefield district, and how it could operate in tandem with other developments in the transport network.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, said: "We have already committed £150 million of investment from our £1 billion West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund to delivering better road, rail and bus journeys across West Yorkshire and the City Region, as well as improved facilities for cycling and walking."

"As we plan for the arrival of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, we want to ensure that all our communities can benefit from the opportunities these major projects will bring, and this work demonstrates that a mass transit system could play a role."

The arrival in Leeds and HS2 and the new Northern Powerhouse Rail, with stops in Bradford, Leeds and York, will mean significant rises in the numbers of journeys on local routes.

The report says different modes of transport serve different needs and provide different levels of capacity. It also points out that technologies have moved forwards significantly in last decade with new battery technologies, hydrogen propulsion and autonomous vehicles changing the face of modern mass transit.

Cllr Judith Blake, member of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Leeds City Council, said: "Through our ambitious Connecting Leeds strategy and vision, we are already committing unprecedented levels of investment in transport infrastructure projects to cut congestion, improve journey times, reduce pollution and increase the use of public transport. Alongside that, we are looking at where investment will be needed across the City Region in the decades ahead.

"Digital technology is already changing the way people travel and we want to ensure that is at the heart of our thinking as we look at the role mass transit could play in meeting future transport needs."

Find out more about Friday's public Transport Committee meeting