City rail link plans go up for discussion

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PLANS to build a rail link between Bradford’s two stations – Bradford Interchange and Forster Square – will be discussed by councillors tonight.

A report by lay members says it would connect the south and north of the city with economic benefits for the city centre, the Bradford district and the wider economy.

It says: “We believe a rail link joining the two existing railway lines would create a position where it would be possible to increase the commuter flow through Bradford without creating additional road vehicle usage.

“We believe a central rail link will showcase Bradford to those travelling through the city centre, will decrease journey times and enable an increase in the service offering.

“A railway station in the heart of Bradford would encourage commuters and tourists to visit Bradford, both during the day and the evening.

“The current stations are not an attractive site or sight to visitors of Bradford.”

Regarding the funding of the scheme the report’s authors say the council is not being asked to foot the bill but councillors are to being asked to “get behind the idea of CrossRail”.

But Chris Greaves, a former chairman of Metro, the West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority, and an Independent Bradford councillor, said he was unimpressed.

He said: “It’s a complete non-starter. People have been looking at CrossRail for getting on for 100 years now. It would probably cost around £250m and it would not speed journeys up.

“More importantly I don’t think there is any significant commercial backing for such a scheme.”

Regeneration Scrutiny Committee members will discuss the report and a further one produced by the council tonight.