Bradford’s main business body has given a cautious welcome to the HS2 London rail link plans, but is concerned that the district must gain direct benefits from the development.

Mike Cartwright, policy executive at Bradford Chamber of Commerce, said: “HS2 is clearly good for Leeds and probably for Yorkshire as a whole but it’s less clear whether it will directly benefit the Bradford district.

"We need to explore the opportunities as improving travel times between this area and London is important.”

Andrew Palmer, CBI Yorkshire regional director, said: “We cannot sit on our hands when the West Coast Main Line is set to reach full capacity by the 2020s and freight will be squeezed.

“Extending HS2 to the North is the project’s big prize. It will boost the economic potential of some of our biggest cities, driving growth and creating jobs.”