BRADFORD Council’s Labour leader Susan Hinchcliffe has come out in support of a new through high-speed Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) station on the site of St James’s Wholesale Market, on Essex Street.
I suspect that there is general agreement in the city that a through NPR station in the city centre is absolutely vital to the future prosperity of Bradford
However, the proposed site is certainly not “city centre”, or easily accessible, being situated on the far side of Wakefield Road, which is the Inner Ring Road. Further, there is no mention of the proposed route of the rail line and whether it is really feasible at all.
Many years ago the Great Northern Railway considered that its Bradford Terminus at Adolphus Street was too far from the city centre and moved into the Lancashire & Yorkshire station – Bradford Exchange.
As Essex Street is even further away from the city centre than is Adolphus Street, this does seem to be a strange choice.
The city certainly does need a through city centre station on an appropriate site. If Bradford only ends up with a Parkway Station somewhere in the sticks, then this will just hasten the current decline of a once great city.
Ms Hinchcliffe also stated that currently rail services between Leeds and Bradford were so unreliable that 70 per cent of commuters choose to drive instead.
This is unfair. There are two routes, one from the Interchange and the other from Forster Square. The former can be delayed on the odd occasion as the trains are often long-distance, but the Forster Square route (in normal times) has provided a reliable regular half-hourly electric service for some years now.
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