Train service improvements for Kirkstall Forge passengers welcomed

Train service improvements for Kirkstall Forge passengers welcomed

News that, from May, there will be a half-hourly train service for Kirkstall Forge railway station has been welcomed by Cllr Keith Wakefield, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee.

Efforts paid off

Cllr Wakefield said: �Delivered as part of the Rail Growth Package, along with nearby Apperley Bridge station, Kirkstall Forge has been a success since the outset.

�I am glad that efforts by the Combined Authority and its partners to ensure that the station�s popularity is reflected by an improved train service have paid off, and that passengers will be enjoying an enhanced service soon.�

Well used

Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: �The station has been exceptionally well used since it opened, so this is fantastic news for everyone who catches the train from Kirkstall Forge to commute to work, or to link to education or leisure opportunities.

�With around a six-minute journey time to the centre of Leeds, the station is helping to reduce congestion on the A65 by encouraging people to use the train instead, so more trains can only help improve things further.�

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Kirkstall Forge station proved hugely popular from the start and surpassed its forecast annual passenger numbers within five months of opening in June 2016. Although just over 20,200 journeys to Leeds were forecast for the station�s first year of operation, 21,400 were recorded in just the first five months. In November 2017, it the station was a winner at the North of England Transport Awards.

The station was developed by CEG, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds City Council, Northern and Network Rail, and along with the nearby Apperley Bridge station developed at the same time and opened in late 2015, received �9.5 million of Government funding.

Since December, people have been able to take advantage of five additional peak-hour stops at the station. And, as a result of the station�s popularity and continued campaigning, passengers using the station will now be able to enjoy a more frequent service from May.

Paul Barnfield, Regional Director at Northern, said:��We have been talking to partners for some time regarding putting a better service into this increasingly important hub. This wasn�t easy however, due to the sheer volume of rail traffic that goes in and out of the west end of Leeds station.

�We are delighted to say that our combined efforts have prevailed and we will now be able to supply the station with two trains an hour in either direction from May this year. This is terrific news and will help the site, and indeed the whole area, to reach its full potential.�

Rachel Reeves, MP for Leeds West said: �It's fantastic news that more trains will be stopping at Kirkstall Forge. I've campaigned for this for months and I am delighted that Northern will soon be operating a new half-hourly service.

�The extra trains will make it easier for thousands of people to get around the city and help unlock the full potential of Kirkstall Forge.�

Jon Kenny, Development Director at CEG, said: �Kirkstall Forge is one of the most significant regeneration projects underway in the north of England. The dedicated railway station connects the site to Leeds station in just six minutes and Bradford in around 15 minutes.

�The half-hourly service is welcome news, not only for the 15,000 people who live nearby, but also the 10,000 people who will live, work and enjoy the site over the next decade.

�The businesses which are looking to locate here demand urban levels of transport connectivity, alongside the award-winning digital communications offered by this exceptionally high quality development and this is a great step towards achieving that.�

Find out more about services for Kirkstall Forge (opens in new tab).