West Yorkshire Mass Transit: First two routes for new tram system are revealed - with Elland Road among stops served

West Yorkshire Combined Authority has released details of the routes to be served by the region’s planned ‘mass transit’ tram network.

The first phase of the transport project would be a tram and light rail route linking Leeds and Bradford, with future extensions reaching Wakefield, Dewsbury and Halifax.

Despite the mass transit plans having long been in development, this is the first time exact route proposals have been made public.

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The ‘major step forward’ in the scheme means that construction is likely to begin in 2028.

City Square, LeedsCity Square, Leeds
City Square, Leeds

The Leeds Line would run between St James’s Hospital, the city centre, Leeds United’s Elland Road ground and the White Rose Centre.

The Bradford Line would run between Leeds and Bradford city centres, including Forster Square Station and the proposed new railway station for Bradford.

A future phase would be building a Dewsbury Line with support from Kirklees Council.

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West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin said: “Today is a key milestone in our plan to create a better-connected region that works for all. By setting out our plans to submit to government, we are taking a major step forward towards the biggest infrastructure project West Yorkshire has seen since the development of the motorways six decades ago.

"This will be transformational for the North, helping our communities to thrive and our economy to flourish - benefitting generations to come with greater opportunity and prosperity.

“We know that mass transit systems have successfully helped to regenerate areas right across the country by boosting connectivity, opportunity and prosperity – and we will work tirelessly to make sure that happens here in West Yorkshire.”

The Combined Authority will continue to work with local authorities to ensure that future phases of a mass transit network reach Wakefield, Kirklees and Calderdale, ensuring no part of West Yorkshire is left behind.

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The submission of the Combined Authority’s strategic outline case document to the Department for Transport is set to be approved by members of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority on March 14. The document will then be sent by the Mayor to the government for approval to continue with the development of the scheme.

The project will be subject to a full business case and approvals process. Today’s announcement does not pre-empt the exact route, which will be subject to full public consultation.

The Combined Authority will ask the public to have their say in the summer on the possible routes, with the two “phase one” Leeds and Bradford lines expected to be joined later by potential further schemes covering the rest of the region.

It will also work on a £1million mass transit development fund to be set aside to support the Dewsbury Line Development Project, which will look into how to get mass transit to connect Kirklees with Leeds.

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Beyond the first phase, a map released by WYCA shows a number of extension lines from the first routes. The Leeds Line could eventually have spurs serving the park and rides, Roundhay, Alwoodley, Horsforth, Yeadon for Leeds Bradford Airport, Guiseley and Otley.

The Bradford Line could link up to Otley via further stops at Shipley and Baildon. The route into Wakefield would call at Castleford, Knottingley, Pontefract, Featherstone and Normanton.

A further line towards Huddersfield and on to Halifax would connect Heckmondwike, Dewsbury, Cleckheaton, Mirfield, Brighouse and Elland.