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06-Sep-2019 03:17

This looked into how building a second high-speed station in the Leeds City Region, as well as the one planned in Leeds, would deliver economic benefits to the region.

It tested the different economic benefits of stations at ten potential locations, including Bradford city centre, parkway-style stations at either Low Moor or Brighouse, as well as stops in Huddersfield, Halifax, east Leeds, Wakefield, York or Selby.

In terms of economic benefit, Bradford city centre was ranked first, adding an extra £53m to the local economy each year.

A parkway at Low Moor came second, bringing an estimated annual benefit of £44m, and a parkway at Brighouse came third, bringing a £33m benefit.

Nick Garthwaite, president of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, said: “Arup’s report gives a compelling case to have the Northern Powerhouse Rail coming through Bradford city and that we have got to have a new station.

“The advantages are clear and for me, when I read it, I think actually they have done an incredibly good job on the creation of the report and make a very strong case for the city.” Mr Garthwaite said Bradford had a young population and that “we must have that connectivity for our young people”.

Transport for the North has been given a £60m Government grant to look into various options for creating a 30-minute rail link between Leeds and Manchester.

It is expected to finalise its recommendations within months.

But Arup’s report says Bradford has a bigger population and higher productivity levels than many of these ‘core cities’ and calls for it to be added to this list.“I think the Chamber and many other people would be very, very concerned if it was just pooh-poohed.Now that really can’t be the case.” James Vasey, of the Bradford Rail Users' Group, said he agreed with the findings of Arup's report.That's according to Bradford Council's executive member for transport, Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw.

Earlier this year, business leaders joined forces with the Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to begin Next Stop Bradford, a campaign to get a high-speed station built in the city centre.

He said all authorities in West Yorkshire had to remain united behind Bradford's campaign for it to succeed.