Rail group rubbishes ‘tram train’ airport link from Leeds

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A TRANSPORT pressure group has rubbished proposals by an MP to build a “tram-train” between Leeds and its airport.

The Harrogate Line Supporters’ Group has instead backed the building of a “parkway” train station a mile from the terminal building.

The proposed routes for a link road to Leeds Bradford Airport

The proposed routes for a link road to Leeds Bradford Airport

The option, which has the support of Leeds Council, would also serve as a commuter station for the village of Bramhope.

It would be linked to the airport by shuttle bus, running along a new stretch of road build on land currently used as fields.

Last December, Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Light Rail Group, told a transport summit in the city that tram-trains - similar to those used in Sheffield - were the best mass transit option for option for Leeds. The conference heard that such a system would “fully address” links to the airport.

But Brian Dunsby, group leader of the Harrogate organisation, said: “We are trying to counter the ill-informed comments from a few people who think that a direct train to the airport is a solution. It’s too expensive and there is not enough demand.

“It has only ever been one person’s vision, not a proposal that has been subjected to detailed scrutiny.”

The alternative “heavy rail” vision is to build a station on the existing Leeds to Harrogate rail line, south of the Bramhope tunnel.

Mr Dunsby said: “Consultants have suggested that getting out of a train to get onto a bus would be unpopular. But very few airports have a train right into the terminal building and in the case of Leeds the altitude is too great for one.”

Mr Mulholland said the parkway proposals were not “honestly presented”, and added: “The reality is that far from being a convenient and cost effective idea, the parkway station and 500-space park and ride is costly, reliant on new roads and concretes all over the Green Belt.”