Government cash to be spent on expanding city railway station

Passengers in Bradford should benefit from improved rail journeys thanks to a multi-million pound Government funding boost.

Rail Minister Huw Merriman has confirmed £24m towards a new platform at Forster Square Station to cut delays and futureproof the station.

The new platform is intended to ease congestion and improve access into the city for passengers, commuters and tourists.

Once complete – and subject to future funding decisions – this could result in an extra five LNER services a day, more than tripling current provision.

Merriman said: “Bradford is benefiting from serious investment in rail infrastructure, with £24m towards a new platform for Forster Square Station helping to improve rail journeys, increase rail services and better connect passengers.

“This investment follows £2bn for Bradford to better connect the city including with a new station and to facilitate faster rail journeys to Manchester via Huddersfield as part of our Network North plan, with further funding recently announced to help with the planning work for that station – demonstrating this Government’s plan to invest in rail infrastructure in the region.”

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council, said: “I’m really pleased we’ve been able to secure this new investment from Government.

“It’s good to see they now recognise the value of Bradford being better connected to the entire Northern economy.

“The new platform at Forster Square Station will provide much needed additional capacity and connectivity for Bradford in time for the district’s year as City of Culture in 2025 and for generations to come enabling greater mobility and access to opportunity across the district.”

Matt Rice, route director for Network Rail’s North & East route, added: “This funding will enable us to deliver extra platform capacity at Bradford Forster Square and allow for improved rail connections for passengers in the future.

“We look forward to working with the Department for Transport, Bradford Council, and other stakeholders to deliver these upgrades for people travelling to and from the city.”

The latest news comes on top of £500m previously committed to upgrade and electrify the railway between Bradford and Leeds and a further £2.5bn Network North pledge to support the West Yorkshire Mass Transit System which will improve connections between Leeds and Bradford, Huddersfield and Halifax.

Kerry Peters, regional director for Northern, said: “We welcome this investment and the benefits it will bring to our customers across West Yorkshire.

“Bradford Forster Square already sees around two million passengers every year and with these developments we look forward to many more in the coming years.”

Warrick Dent, LNER’s safety & operations director, said: “LNER welcomes the news of investment in a new platform at Bradford Forster Square which will allow us to run more trains to and from the city.

“Our timetable plans will be announced nearer the time, and need approval by the Department for Transport, but we would expect to see a big increase in the number of LNER services.”