Yorkshire transport 2018: Big plans for region's railway stations

The transformation of two major Yorkshire railway stations will move closer this year.

Leeds City Station upgrade blueprint
Leeds City Station upgrade blueprint

A business case will be made for improvements to the New Station Street entrance of Leeds station as part of the £500m bid to transform it into a “world class gateway” benefiting from HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.

On January 3, West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee will be asked to back plans to make its Bradford Interchange a better gateway to the city centre.

A second stage would see the Interchange transformed in preparation for upgraded Calder Valley rail services and a central Bradford stop on the planned Northern Powerhouse Rail.

Elsewhere, extensions to rail station car parks at Hebden Bridge, Knottingley, Mirfield, Mytholmroyd, Normanton, Shipley and Steeton and Silsden stations will add to the 3,000-plus park and ride spaces already at West Yorkshire’s 69 rail stations.

Keith Wakefield, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said “a comprehensive and integrated approach” was needed to grow the county’s economy.

In South Yorkshire, the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority has launched its transport strategy for the next two decades, which will go out for consultation on January 8.

Officials hope it will grow the local economy by £500m by “increasing the numbers of people able to get to work and education by public transport in just 30 minutes, to improve air quality, and to make the best use of the latest technologies.”

On the ground, the tram-train pilot, which links heavy and light rail infrastructure, systems and operations together to provide a new transport service between Sheffield and Rotherham, will go live in autumn/winter 2018.

The project, which has cost more than five times the agreed budget and is running almost three years late, could lead to the re-opening of some old branch lines which aren’t currently viable.