Why Bradford needs underground rail station – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Nina Smith, Chair, Railfuture Yorkshire.

Bradford's Forster Square Station.
Bradford's Forster Square Station.

BRADFORD needs a new 
city-centre station – not one on the other side of the inner ring road (The Yorkshire Post, April 7).

Business people, commuters and leisure travellers arriving from Leeds and Manchester want easy city-centre access.

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Bradford Council’s proposals for a new Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) station on the site of the wholesale fruit and vegetable market will compound the folly of the city already having two unconnected railway stations half a mile apart.

Where should Bradford's new city centre station be located?

People come to Bradford to work, shop and be entertained. They visit the Alhambra, St George’s Hall and National Science and Media Museum.

They will come for music at the restored former Odeon/New Victoria Cinema when it reopens. They shop in the Westfield centre and work in the town hall and city-centre offices.

They catch buses to the hospital and the suburbs. Both Interchange and Forster Square stations are convenient for this.

The proposed Central Station is not. Who, and especially women, will want to walk up Bridge Street and across the A647/A650 ring road after dark?

The proposals include linking the Calder Valley line with the NPR line near the proposed new station.

Railfuture fully supports joining these routes as the proposed seven-minute Bradford to Leeds journey time on the new NPR line will also mean Halifax to Leeds in 20 minutes and Hebden Bridge to Leeds in under 35 minutes, providing much faster train journeys for Calderdale residents.

But those residents need to be able to access Bradford city centre as easily as now.

As such, Bradford needs a new combined station underneath the city centre to aid public transport connectivity across West Yorkshire.

We advocate the existing Calder Valley and Airedale/Wharfedale routes being joined underneath Bradford city 
centre, connecting with the new NPR line.

Why is Bradford Council, a passionate advocate of NPR, proposing this remote site? We can only think it is because the council owns it, thus reducing costs to please HM Treasury.

But if this country is to 
spend over £30bn on a very important new railway line, then it needs to spend the extra billion or two that would truly transform West Yorkshire’s transport network for the next 100 years, giving people first-class public transport in the zero-carbon future and really giving Bradford the economic boost it needs.

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