Chancellor agrees to explore rail link to Leeds-Bradford Airport after pressure from MP

CALL: Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew outside the terminal building at Leeds-Bradford Airport. Inset, Chancellor George Osborne

CALL: Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew outside the terminal building at Leeds-Bradford Airport. Inset, Chancellor George Osborne

First published in News
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Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Parliamentary Correspondent

GEORGE Osborne has agreed to explore a rail link to Leeds-Bradford Airport, after pressure from an MP.

The Chancellor said any worked-up proposal would be considered after talks that also included Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

A delighted Stuart Andrew, the Conservative MP for Pudsey, said: “They are definitely interested in what I had to say and could understand the points I was making.

“The Chancellor said he would have a look at the idea once the connectivity study that is being carried out is done, so I will keep the pressure on.”

Meanwhile, William Hague delivered another boost to the campaign, when the former Foreign Secretary told the Commons it was “an issue that cannot be ignored”.

Mr Andrew sought the meeting amid growing criticism that the airport in Yeadon has worse transport links than other regional airports.

Passengers must use slow roads, yet it is more than a decade since an aviation White Paper stated expansion should only go ahead with access improvements.

Local transport chiefs have put forward a £94 million plan to electrify the Leeds to Harrogate line, increasing frequency to four trains each hour.

The idea is for a spur off that line, near Horsforth, to the airport - with the potential for direct trains to Bradford in the future.

Mr Andrew said: “We are talking about an international airport that is served only by road, forcing people to drive through residential areas, causing disruption.

“There is also talk of a link road, to create a shortcut from the M62 through to the A1, but I don’t think that will really help.

“A rail link would be more expensive than a road, but it definitely offers the better solution.

“And this is the right time, because we know the Government wants more investment in the north and is ready to put its money where its mouth is.”

Mr Osborne has said he is ready to fund viable transport proposals as part of his plans to for a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ of better-connected cities across the Pennines.

The Chancellor plans to make the idea a centrepiece of his ‘mini Budget’ in December, with only months until next May’s general election.

Mr Andrew also raised the issue in the Commons yesterday, prompting Mr Hague, the Commons Leader, to say: “The area was identified last year as one of the six long-standing road congestion hot spots.

“The Department for Transport was asked to take forward a study into connectivity to Leeds Bradford international airport.

“The Government will have to look at the conclusions of that report and announce a way forward. This is an issue that cannot be ignored in the Leeds-Bradford area.”

Comments (12)

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7:34am Fri 5 Sep 14

Albion. says...

It would be cheaper to create a more widespread bus service.
It would be cheaper to create a more widespread bus service. Albion.
  • Score: 3

7:50am Fri 5 Sep 14

Joedavid says...

Albion. wrote:
It would be cheaper to create a more widespread bus service.
Yes one an hour is rubbish.
Miss it or it fails your in big trouble.
[quote][p][bold]Albion.[/bold] wrote: It would be cheaper to create a more widespread bus service.[/p][/quote]Yes one an hour is rubbish. Miss it or it fails your in big trouble. Joedavid
  • Score: 5

8:38am Fri 5 Sep 14

OLDLAD says...

Potential direct trains to bradford in the future. I assume from the statement leeds will service the airport and bradford miss out again.
Potential direct trains to bradford in the future. I assume from the statement leeds will service the airport and bradford miss out again. OLDLAD
  • Score: 11

9:06am Fri 5 Sep 14

Rumb7e says...

Bradford would be better served train line to the airport. As Leeds is an already overcrowded Station.

Bradford would serve as an ideal, less congested solution for people with baggages.
Bradford would be better served train line to the airport. As Leeds is an already overcrowded Station. Bradford would serve as an ideal, less congested solution for people with baggages. Rumb7e
  • Score: 3

9:38am Fri 5 Sep 14

dave - keighley says...

Any links are only any good if they run when the planes are running - first one I think is 6.00 am so you would need to be at airport for 4am, last one in is about 1am so would need to leave at 2am and then you need to be able to get home from Leeds or Bradford anyway.

I think I would rather pay to park a car at secure parking at the airport or get someone to take me rather than parking in Leeds or Bradford City centres.

I agree there needs to be a link but it needs more that just a few trains to Leeds and Bradford.
Any links are only any good if they run when the planes are running - first one I think is 6.00 am so you would need to be at airport for 4am, last one in is about 1am so would need to leave at 2am and then you need to be able to get home from Leeds or Bradford anyway. I think I would rather pay to park a car at secure parking at the airport or get someone to take me rather than parking in Leeds or Bradford City centres. I agree there needs to be a link but it needs more that just a few trains to Leeds and Bradford. dave - keighley
  • Score: 4

9:48am Fri 5 Sep 14

basil fawlty says...

I fail to see how the cost of building the airport link could ever be justified when considering the small numbers who would choose the train in front of the car.
It also seems strange that there is a £94M plan to electrify the Harrogate to Leeds line. Harrogate is a fifth of the size of Bradford's yet lines from the Intetchange are to remain unelectrified.
I fail to see how the cost of building the airport link could ever be justified when considering the small numbers who would choose the train in front of the car. It also seems strange that there is a £94M plan to electrify the Harrogate to Leeds line. Harrogate is a fifth of the size of Bradford's yet lines from the Intetchange are to remain unelectrified. basil fawlty
  • Score: 5

10:58am Fri 5 Sep 14

Rambo says...

basil fawlty wrote:
I fail to see how the cost of building the airport link could ever be justified when considering the small numbers who would choose the train in front of the car.
It also seems strange that there is a £94M plan to electrify the Harrogate to Leeds line. Harrogate is a fifth of the size of Bradford's yet lines from the Intetchange are to remain unelectrified.
Rail routes are often aimed more at business people in the south and Europe, who would fly in and out on the same day or only stop over a night or two. It's a more lucrative market over the entire year for airlines, travel and spending than just the summer tourists.

The business market is one that Leeds are actively trying to bring into their city and need facilities like an airport rail link for that purpose.
[quote][p][bold]basil fawlty[/bold] wrote: I fail to see how the cost of building the airport link could ever be justified when considering the small numbers who would choose the train in front of the car. It also seems strange that there is a £94M plan to electrify the Harrogate to Leeds line. Harrogate is a fifth of the size of Bradford's yet lines from the Intetchange are to remain unelectrified.[/p][/quote]Rail routes are often aimed more at business people in the south and Europe, who would fly in and out on the same day or only stop over a night or two. It's a more lucrative market over the entire year for airlines, travel and spending than just the summer tourists. The business market is one that Leeds are actively trying to bring into their city and need facilities like an airport rail link for that purpose. Rambo
  • Score: 6

1:17pm Fri 5 Sep 14

we'recitynotbradford says...

Back in the 80s a link road was suggested from the M62 to Dishforth on the A1 that would have served the airport. Bradford council was in favour but Leeds wanted the road to go to the southeast of the city because the objections from Leeds residents was widespread. Result, the link road was built from the M1/M62 junction out to the A1. Why would the outcome be different this time? Those same residents would still object to a road and the west Leeds MPs would support objections to maintain their seats. I would say a rail link is the most likely but one using the recently suggested tram/trains via Guiseley/Baildon rather than a heavy rail link. I would also suggest that this served the Aire Valley and not just the inner city area.
Back in the 80s a link road was suggested from the M62 to Dishforth on the A1 that would have served the airport. Bradford council was in favour but Leeds wanted the road to go to the southeast of the city because the objections from Leeds residents was widespread. Result, the link road was built from the M1/M62 junction out to the A1. Why would the outcome be different this time? Those same residents would still object to a road and the west Leeds MPs would support objections to maintain their seats. I would say a rail link is the most likely but one using the recently suggested tram/trains via Guiseley/Baildon rather than a heavy rail link. I would also suggest that this served the Aire Valley and not just the inner city area. we'recitynotbradford
  • Score: 2

1:59pm Fri 5 Sep 14

llos25 says...

Don´t hold your breath if planning permission was given today it would be five years minimum before we saw something tangible and in reality nothing will happen.
Don´t hold your breath if planning permission was given today it would be five years minimum before we saw something tangible and in reality nothing will happen. llos25
  • Score: 2

4:09pm Fri 5 Sep 14

allinittogether says...

Tory MP makes dash for re-election shocker. Has this bloke done anything in the last 4 years apart from get nutted in the House of Commons bar ?
Tory MP makes dash for re-election shocker. Has this bloke done anything in the last 4 years apart from get nutted in the House of Commons bar ? allinittogether
  • Score: 1

10:13pm Fri 5 Sep 14

northern pig says...

No point" P A K I Airlines .No longer fly from Leeds Bradford!! Their drug couriers,have been rumbled.!!!
No point" P A K I Airlines .No longer fly from Leeds Bradford!! Their drug couriers,have been rumbled.!!! northern pig
  • Score: 4

4:38pm Tue 9 Sep 14

York B&B says...

As a non-driver, this would be ideal. I love Leeds Bradford Airport compared to the bigger airports I just do not like the waiting around for a bus from the train station and vice versa, can only be a good thing in my eyes.
As a non-driver, this would be ideal. I love Leeds Bradford Airport compared to the bigger airports I just do not like the waiting around for a bus from the train station and vice versa, can only be a good thing in my eyes. York B&B
  • Score: 0
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