Made In Bradford

BRADFORD is to get a station on the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) line, it has been confirmed today.

Transport for the North (TfN) has, for the first time, outlined its vision for NPR, a rail network between the North of England’s six biggest cities and other economic centres.

NPR, which would see a new railway line linking Leeds with Manchester via Bradford as well as much faster connections between Leeds and Sheffield, Newcastle and Hull, would mean that an extra 46 per cent of the population, more than 1.4 million residents, would be able to access three major cities within 90 minutes from home.

The announcement will delight campaigners, who have previously said bringing high-speed rail to Bradford city centre would boost the local economy by £1.3bn, improve journey times and increase capacity on the railway network.

It is not yet clear whether the new station will be in the city centre or at an out-of-town parkway location.

Map of the new route, showing Bradford on a new stretch of high-speed line (in lime green).

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council leader, said she was pleased with the announcement but the station’s location was the next aspect to be clarified.

She said: “This is what we have been pushing for all the way along.

“What we need to keep pushing for is to make sure it’s a city centre station and at the moment that’s not clear and that’s a business case we are putting forward for Bradford already.

“We are already working with TfN saying that’s what we need.

“We see in the city centre such regeneration opportunities – the south of the city centre you’ve got quite a lot of land there which would immediately increase in value if we get a city centre station.

“We’ve got an interchange station, let’s use it, let’s redevelop that, but of course that case is still to be made.

“Chris Grayling has been very positive about what we need in Bradford, it’s also about convincing civil servants down in Westminster.

“This TfN case is being put together with all the local authorities’ agreement across the North – that’s a plan that now we need to wait for feedback from the Minister and Government to see which bits they can fund.”

Cllr Hinchcliffe added the announcement would bring a huge jobs boost to the Bradford district and will mean people can live in Bradford and commute to cities including Manchester.

She said: “For me, it’s all about jobs, investment, bringing businesses to the district.

“It’s about our young people having opportunities both to set up businesses here themselves but also to have access to jobs that we know they are all capable of doing.

“It’s about using the talent of our city to its maximum.

“There’s two key things we need to get right – one is education and the other is transport connectivity.

“If you improve those two things then the rest of the economy just comes together.

“You should be able to go from Bradford to Manchester quite easily so if you want to live in Bradford and work in Manchester you should be able to do that, you shouldn’t have to move.

“Similarly if you want to live in Manchester and work in Bradford that should be easy too. It shouldn’t be over an hour’s journey between Bradford and Manchester it should just be a half-hour journey.”

Judith Cummins, MP for Bradford South, said: “This is a big step for Bradford. An NPR station here would be a huge boost for the city. It would make it much easier to commute to and from Bradford, giving more people access to good jobs, as well as bringing in businesses to the city.

“This TfN case is being put together with all the local authorities’ agreement across the North – that’s a plan that now we need to wait for feedback from the Minister and Government to see which bits they can fund.”

Cllr Hinchcliffe added the announcement would bring a huge jobs boost to the Bradford district and will mean people can live in Bradford and commute to cities including Manchester.

She said: “For me, it’s all about jobs, investment, bringing businesses to the district.

“It’s about our young people having opportunities both to set up businesses here themselves but also to have access to jobs that we know they are all capable of doing.

“It’s about using the talent of our city to its maximum.

“There’s two key things we need to get right – one is education and the other is transport connectivity.

“If you improve those two things then the rest of the economy just comes together.

“You should be able to go from Bradford to Manchester quite easily so if you want to live in Bradford and work in Manchester you should be able to do that, you shouldn’t have to move.

“Similarly if you want to live in Manchester and work in Bradford that should be easy too. It shouldn’t be over an hour’s journey between Bradford and Manchester it should just be a half-hour journey.”

Judith Cummins, MP for Bradford South, said: “This is a big step for Bradford. An NPR station here would be a huge boost for the city. It would make it much easier to commute to and from Bradford, giving more people access to good jobs, as well as bringing in businesses to the city.

Plans for future transport investment in Leeds City Region and the wider North of England have been outlined at an event held in Leeds today, marking the publication of a 30-year plan to drive economic growth.

Tim Wood, Northern Powerhouse Rail Director at Transport for the North, said: “It’s really important because of the connectivity and the transformational programme we are looking at.

“It’s about jobs, it’s about growing economy in the North.

“Bradford is a centrepoint, although it’s not a city region within the Northern Powerhouse Rail network, we’re looking to deliver transformational growth of the railway and the only way we are going to be able to do that is by looking at new line openings – Leeds, Bradford, down to Manchester – we hope with the economic analysis we are doing at the moment, it will actually produce a set of outcomes that will go in our strategic outline business case to the partners of North, the leaders of the North and also to the Secretary of State.

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