'Inland port' could be operational in Leeds by Spring 2020

Sunrise at the Aire and Calder Navigation, at Stanley Ferry, Wakefield.
Sunrise at the Aire and Calder Navigation, at Stanley Ferry, Wakefield.

A planned “inland port” in Leeds could be up and running in less than two years’ time, according to a report going before members of West Yorkshire Combined Authority this week.

Decision-makers will discuss the next phase of plans for the site, which is expected to cost just over £3m, on Thursday.

Is is hoped such a scheme would enable the transportation of goods such as timber, oil and steel from the Humber estuary to Leeds.

The report claims the facility could move 200,000 tonnes of freight in just its first year, create extra jobs and reduce carbon emissions by 100,000 tonnes. It says construction materials needed to help build infrastructure projects such as the Leeds South Bank development and High Speed 2 rail could also be transported more easily.

The report adds this would “reduce the amount of goods being transported on roads,” as well as “grow business, create better jobs and deliver infrastructure for growth.”

Goods are expected to be transported along the Aire and Calder Navigation – the canalised section of the rivers which runs to Goole.

The site is owned by the Canal and River Trust, who are expected to invest £200,000 to fund the project.

The report recommends members give indicative approval for a £3.17m grant, and that an outline business case be put together for the project.

The combined authority has set a target of April 2019 for work to start on the port, and said it could be fully operational as early as Spring 2020.