Bradford would be better connected if it was in the South East, says city MP Judith Cummins in Northern Powerhous Rail plea to Rishi Sunak

A group of Yorkshire MPs have urged the Chancellor to "carefully consider" the case for a high speed rail station in Bradford because of the "transformation it can bring to the region’s economy".

Bradford MP Judith Cummins says in a letter to Rishi Sunak that a Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) station in Bradford "will be a catalyst for regional growth as well as driving multiple outcomes essential to unlocking West Yorkshire’s potential".

It comes amid fears that the UK's sixth biggest city may miss out on a new station if the proposed east-west high speed rail line between Leeds and Manchester instead follows the route of the existing Transpennine route via Huddersfield.

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Bradford MP Judith Cummins says in a letter to Rishi Sunak that a Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) station in Bradford "will be a catalyst for regional growth as well as driving multiple outcomes essential to unlocking West Yorkshire’s potential".

The Department for Transport is planning to heavily invest in the upgrade of the Transpennine Route in a move which will increase the number of trains between the North's two biggest cities and improve reliability.

But northern leaders fear this investment will include development work which would mean the proposed NPR would follow this route, rather than a new line serving Bradford being built.

Mrs Cummins, Labour MP for Bradford South, has written to the Chancellor in advance of a Westminster Hall debate she is is leading on the subject this week. Her letter has been backed by Yorkshire's metro mayors Tracy Brabin and Dan Jarvis as well as MPs including Holly Lynch, Alex Sobel and Imran Hussain.

The letter says: “Bradford’s lack of connectivity holds back the full potential of the city and the wider West Yorkshire region. Without a successful Bradford, there cannot be a successful North."

Mrs Cummins told The Yorkshire Post: “We are asking for fairness for the North. It should not be a choice between a new line linking Leeds, Bradford and Manchester and the Transpennine Route upgrade. The North needs both these schemes, and more.

"A city of the size and potential of Bradford would not be left so disconnected if it were in the South East of England.”

Northern leaders are waiting for the Government's Integrated Rail Plan to discover how NPR will fit in with HS2 and other major projects.

A government spokesperson said: “We are committed to levelling up opportunities across the country and delivering a world-class transport network for all parts of the UK is an important part of that.

“We are committed to improving rail links in the north, and a DfT review is underway to ensure our investment delivers the best results for those living in the North and beyond. It will report in due course.”

The Government last month announced £317m of additional funding for the Transpennine Route Upgrade to electrify and upgrade the line between York and Church Fenton.

But the proposed investment in the line could be worth as much as £11.5bn in total and allow improvements including more freight capacity and fewer minutes lost to delays.