West Yorkshire’s first new rail station in 10 years is set to welcome its first passengers in December - four months after originally planned.
Transport bosses have announced the new Apperley Bridge Station in Bradford will open on Sunday December 13, subject to final approval by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).
Bradford councillors granted permission for the new station - which includes a 297-space car park - back in 2010 with final approval given by the Department of Transport (DfT) in 2014. An original estimated completion date of August this year was later pushed back until the Autumn.
The news it will now open in December has been welcomed by Coun Val Slater, deputy leader of Bradford Council. She said: “I’m delighted the new Apperley Bridge station is about to open for passengers. Extra public transport links make a vital contribution to the economy of the region and improvements to the environment.”
She added: “We have lobbied hard and did everything we could to get this station opened as quickly as possible.”
Two trains per hour, between Leeds and Bradford Forster Square or Skipton, will call at Apperley Bridge in each direction on Monday to Saturday and hourly on Sundays. The station also includes a drop off point, fully-accessible platforms with both staircases and ramps, secure cycle parking and waiting shelters.
Coun Keith Wakefield, chairman of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “Regular services between Leeds and Bradford Forster Square will provide people with links to work and leisure opportunities in the two city centres. The Combined Authority has worked closely with our partners at Network Rail to get Apperley Bridge Station open for passengers as soon as possible and look forward to seeing those services starting in mid-December.”
He said the station will also reduce congestion and improve journey reliability on a “key corridor”.
Mark Tarry, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “We know how important this station is to the local community in order to improve access to jobs and education as well as travel for leisure. We are pleased services will soon be able to call at the station.”
Apperley Bridge is the county’s first new station since Glasshoughton opened in 2005. Together with Kirkstall Forge Station - set to open early 2016 - it is part of a £15.9m rail growth package given DfT approval in 2014.