Bradford Council Leader, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, recently confirmed the preferred site for a city centre station for Northern Powerhouse Rail.
The Government is yet to approve whether or not it will go ahead, but the current St James Wholesale Market on Essex Street has been named as the best place to replace the Interchange. Speaking to business leaders and other major stakeholders and players from Bradford and West Yorkshire, Cllr Hinchcliffe reiterated the many benefits and opportunities for West Yorkshire and the North that would follow if this scheme is realised.
The Chamber has reacted positively to the statement, saying:
“We fully endorse the well-made arguments supporting the case for Northern Powerhouse Rail coming into the heart of the city. We now need central government to commit to its ‘levelling up’ agenda, by approving a key scheme that will help re-balance the UK economy. While it would be a game-changer for Bradford itself, enabling the District to compete better for investment, it also has major benefits for West Yorkshire and the wider North of England. Cross-country connectivity would be improved, as would productivity, thereby boosting the economy.”
Research has shown that the North’s economy could be boosted by £15bn by 2016, with up to 15,000 new jobs in the Leeds City Region, if an NPR station is sited in the centre of Bradford. Transport for the North have also got behind Cllr Hinchcliffe’s plea, with Director Tim Wood adding:
“Bradford is one of the great Northern cities, but its full potential is constrained by poor transport connections. Yet, despite that, Bradford has continued to grow and thrive thanks to the spirit of Bradford’s leaders, people and businesses, but not as much as it could. The central station and new line is a key part of the preferred network Transport for the North is recommending to the Government. With the Integrated Rail Plan expected in a matter of weeks, we’re on the cusp of long-term committed investment, which must deliver for the people of Bradford and the North.”
Read more on Cllr Hinchcliffe’s and other political leaders’ comments here.