West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin says Bradford is 'greatest area of opportunity' as she calls for city to get Northern Powerhouse Rail stop

Tracy Brabin made the comments when she attended a meeting of Bradford Council’s Executive on Tuesday – the first Council meeting she has attended since being voted as the first mayor of West Yorkshire last month.

West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin

One issue discussed at the meeting was the push for a Bradford stop to be included on the planned Northern Powerhouse high speed rail line – which would link the East and West coasts of England.

Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe said: “A stop is vital for us. We are the biggest city in the UK that isn’t on a mainline train line.”

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Mrs Brabin agreed that an NPR stop was a major priority for the city.

She said: “I think Bradford is the area of greatest opportunity in West Yorkshire.

“If we get an NPR stop then there is no limit to what we can achieve.

“I will be making the case to Government for connectivity to help the recovery from Covid. We need a transport system that works for people, not for profit – a bus network where you can tap in and tap out and where there are fair fares across the region.”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby referred to the Bradford District’s bid to be City of Culture in 2025, saying: “It would bring so many opportunities to Bradford. It will bring businesses into the District and create improvements in health and wellbeing.”

Referring to the bid, Mrs Brabin said: “I know Bradford will get City of Culture. It is our time, and it will be transformative for the region, the same way it was for Hull.”

She also expanded on an announcement she had made earlier in the day about plans for a “Town of Culture” contest in West Yorkshire.

The regular contest would see a smaller town or village named Town of Culture,

Mrs Brabin said: “Places like Dewsbury or Shipley may not have a chance of winning City of Culture, but they could win Town of Culture.”

During the meeting members of the Executive spoke about how they hoped to work with the mayor on a number of issues, and Mrs Brabin discussed some of the opportunities for Bradford in the coming years.

The position of West Yorkshire Mayor was created as part of the devolution deal announced in March 2020.

The mayor is in charge of spending for local transport, infrastructure, regeneration and cultural projects, adult skills and training, and will get Police and Crime Commissioner powers.