Next Stop Bradford has launched a new website that aims to increase support from businesses and residents to help secure a Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) station in Bradford city centre.
Next Stop Bradford’s aim is to ensure that Bradford, the fifth largest city in the UK with one of the fastest growing economies, secures a new high-speed railway station in the centre as part of the proposed investment in better transport connectivity across the North.
Launched in early 2017, Next Stop Bradford continues to demonstrate the economic and social benefits an NPR station would bring to the city and the north. An NPR station in Bradford is predicted to bring an annual economic boost of £1.3bn to the local economy, improve journey times and increase capacity on the railway network.
The campaign has already gained support from leading voices across the region including Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds City Region LEP, West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and key businesses such as Yorkshire Building Society and The Broadway Bradford.
Through the “Pledge my support” web page (www.nextstopbradford.com/pledge-support/) residents, businesses and community leaders are encouraged to show their support for this transport investment by sharing why they believe Bradford should be included on the NPR network. This information will help demonstrate to decision makers at Transport for the North and in the Government why Bradford must be included in this major infrastructure investment.
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council and Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said:
“Better connectivity to major centres like Manchester and Leeds is important but it’s also about the huge economic boost it would provide to Bradford, acting as a catalyst for further regeneration in the city centre and delivering growth opportunities across the whole district.
“There’s a big prize at stake in Bradford and residents, businesses as well as politicians have a role to play in demonstrating our united support for this ambition. I encourage everyone to visit the new Next Stop Bradford website and pledge your support for investment in a Northern Powerhouse Rail Station in Bradford city centre.”
Mark Cowgill, Co-Founder & Director of Exa Networks based in Bradford city centre said: “Shortening journey times from Bradford to Leeds to just 7 minutes and to Manchester in 20 minutes has the potential to dramatically impact the growth of businesses like ours. It would mean we could target new clients further afield, widen our access to skills and talent and boost the economy of the local area making Bradford an even more attractive place to live and work.
“That is why I am supporting the Next Stop Bradford campaign to ensure we secure the transport links that will help businesses like mine for decades to come.”
Bradford is home to over 17,000 businesses with market- leading companies such as Yorkshire Building Society, Santander and Morrisons and thriving SMEs which play a key role in the economic success of the city. As the youngest city in the UK with nearly 25% of the population under 16, the need for better transport infrastructure is critical to the future growth of the city so that people can access the jobs and business can connect with the economic opportunities of the future.
Notes to editors
Next Stop Bradford website can be found at www.nextstopbradford.com
For the latest updates on the campaign, follow @nxtstopbradford and #NextStopBradford
Bradford – key statistics
- Bradford District’s population is 531,200 and growing. In terms of metropolitan districts and other Council areas, it sits only behind Birmingham, Leeds and Sheffield. Bradford is bigger than many other cities in the UK, including Liverpool, Bristol and Nottingham.
- Bradford’s £9.5 billion economy is the fifth largest in the Northern Powerhouse.
- Bradford University jumped 20 places in 2017’s Guardian University rankings, now sitting in 52nd position.
- Bradford’s working age population is predicted to grow by 24,000 by 2024.
- A train from Bradford to Manchester takes around an hour, and averages only 42mph.
- A train from Bradford Interchange to Leeds takes over 20 minutes, averaging only 33mph.
- With a city centre NPR station, Bradford would be only seven minutes from Leeds, and twenty from Manchester bringing with it vast economic opportunities.
- Bradford is an integral part of the Leeds City Region economy which is the largest economic area in the UK outside of London with a population of over 3 million people.
- 45,000 people commute between Bradford and Leeds each day, the largest flow between any two cities in the UK. However, 74% of these commuters travel by car.