Green light for £173.5m transport funding for Leeds
£173.5m has been allocated to Leeds for “transformational” improvements in public transport for the city.
The package from the Department of Transport includes new park and ride services, bus priority lanes and modernised
The approval will also allow proposals to be further developed for new and improved rail stations including an airport parkway station.
Initial plans were unveiled in December 2016 and the £173.5m of funding has now been secured for Leeds following the decision to scrap the New Generation Transport (NGT) trolleybus last year.
The funds needed to be allocated to public transport schemes before the end of 2021.The funding will be added to by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and private sector stakeholders, including £71m investment from First West Yorkshire to provide at least 284 new low-emissions buses for Leeds by the end of 2020 increases the total funding package available to in excess of £270m.Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) will now develop a range of improvements including:
- Easing congestion, improving bus journey times and reliability through bus priority measures on key corridors in the city including the A61/A639 South, A61 North, A660, A58 north east and A647
- New park and ride services at Stourton and north Leeds joining the new service at Temple Green opening later this year and the success of Elland Road
- Improved district transport hubs making use of the latest technologies and better connectivity between local communities and neighbourhoods
- Developing proposals for new rail stations to support job creation and housing growth at Thorpe Park and White Rose/Millshaw Business Park
- Developing proposals for a new parkway station on the Leeds to Harrogate line to serve Leeds Bradford Airport and also act as a park and ride in both directions
- Enhancing access at Cross Gates, Morley and Horsforth rail stations and car park expansion at New Pudsey to increase its park and ride capacity
- Connecting with city centre plans to create modern transport interchanges, enhanced public spaces and maximising the benefits from the remodelled Leeds Station and the arrival of high-speed HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (formerly HS3).
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said: “We are delighted that the Department for Transport has given its support for our plans which have the potential to transform public transport in Leeds, with improvements we can deliver in the coming years in keeping with what the people of Leeds told us they want to see. That is making it quicker and easier for everyone to be able to move around the city as well as connecting people and businesses to places and jobs, increasing productivity and supporting major economic growth areas.
“We can now get on with working with our partners to develop and deliver these ambitious and exciting improvements, but it is important to stress this needs to be just the start of major investment in transport in Leeds and the region. Much more needs to follow, so we all must work together if we are to achieve the modern fully integrated transport network including a rapid mass-transit system that our city and the wider region needs as soon as possible.”
West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport chairman Councillor Keith Wakefield said: “These plans to build on successful developments on the county’s rail and bus networks are in line with the combined authority’s aim of developing a modern integrated transport network that benefits the whole of Leeds City Region.
“Better rail connections and more new stations linked into HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail and, based upon the popularity of Elland Road, further park and ride schemes such as the 1,000-space facility being built at Temple Green in east Leeds, will support economic growth and link people with new jobs that are being created.
“All of these developments will be designed to deliver the effective solutions that, through the recent countywide ‘Your Travel Your Say’ events and the transport conversation in Leeds, people have told us they want to see and to which West Yorkshire Combined Authority is committed.”