‘Underused’ railway station could be closed

People are being invited to have their say on the future of Cottingley Rail Station, Leeds, as part of a 12-week consultation being held by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds City Council and Munroe K.

Construction is due to start later this year on a new, more accessible £24m rail station 800m along the track, near the White Rose Office Park.

The consultation will seek people’s views on the proposed closure of Cottingley Rail Station, as it will not be possible to maintain the same level of service at both Cottingley and White Rose because they are too close together.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “Building the future we want with a transport system fit for the 21st century is absolutely vital.

“Schemes such as the new White Rose Rail Station will connect more people with job, training and education opportunities, while also helping us tackle the climate emergency on our way to becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.”

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, transport portfolio holder for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and leader of Bradford Council, said: “A fully accessible rail station at White Rose will bring new opportunities for people in Cottingley, Churwell, Millshaw and Morley, improving transport links and acting as a catalyst for local regeneration, including housing and job growth.

“During the next 12 weeks, we will be doing everything we can to engage with local communities on the future of Cottingley Rail Station and I would encourage people to make sure their voices are heard by taking part in this consultation.”

According to The Office of Rail and Roads station usage data for 2018/19, Cottingley is the least used station in Leeds.

Options being considered as part of the consultation include:

  • Replacing the existing station at Cottingley with a new station at White Rose. This option is preferred because of the low numbers of people using the station and its lack of step-free access.
  • Constructing the new station at White Rose and keeping Cottingley open. This option would mean Cottingley Rail Station would have a very infrequent service and it could also weaken the funding case for new walking and cycling routes as part of the White Rose Rail Station development.

Leeds City Council executive board member for infrastructure and climate, Cllr Helen Hayden, said: “Although the plans to build a new White Rose Rail station will undoubtedly bring benefits and opportunities for the surrounding communities and beyond, it will have an impact on the existing station at Cottingley.

“We know Cottingley station is underused, however people still use it, so it’s crucial the new White Rose station is accessible for rail users.”

David Aspin, founder and CEO of Munroe K, added: “The White Rose Railway Station will be a key ingredient in bringing about the regeneration and economic development of south Leeds; being a catalytic element in the future vision for not only White Rose Park, but the wider area also.

“It has been a testament to the powerful collaboration between public and private sector that this key piece of infrastructure development will be delivered to bring about fantastic benefit to our local communities and businesses.

“With improved active travel routes including pedestrian walkways, bicycle parking and access, the new station will undoubtedly be pivotal in helping us all build toward a more sustainable future that is less reliant on car travel.”