Bradford Council refuses to back HS2 scheme

Bradford Council leader David Green

Bradford Council leader David Green

First published in News

Bradford Council is refusing to back the controversial HS2 high speed rail scheme.

Authority chiefs have raised concerns about key aspects of the Government’s £46 billion scheme and will be meeting HS2 officials in the spring to discuss them face-to-face.

In its official response to the HS2 consultation, which closed yesterday, the Council says its concerns include:

  • no clear benefit to Bradford’s economy, despite analysis saying it would give West Yorkshire a £1bn annual boost 
  • the building of a separate railway station in Leeds for HS2, meaning a “lengthy interchange” on foot between the two for passengers which would cancel out any journey time savings for Bradford residents and businesses
  • value for money: the authority thinks the same improvements could be delivered at less cost by investing in the existing East Cast Mainline.

It says: “Overall the Council is currently not in a position to support the HS2 proposals until it clearly understands what the benefits will be to the district.”

The authority also calls for investment in the conventional rail network to continue as HS2 is developed, including the replacement of West Yorkshire’s “ancient rolling stock” of trains and the electrification of the Calder Valley line.

Wakefield Council has also opposed the plans, while Leeds City Council remains supportive.

Bradford Council leader David Green, said: “We are sceptical about the High Speed Rail HS2 proposal because we have yet to see conclusive proof of direct benefit to Bradford district. HS2 would have to be matched with significant investment in regional and local infrastructure to spread and maximise benefits across the region.

“Our priority is investment in regional rail infrastructure to help free up capacity on our current railway network and reduce overcrowding on commuter train services.”

The Council’s Conservative leader, Councillor Glen Miller, said while his group had not been asked to contribute to the response, he too had concerns about HS2.

He said: “We don’t need to get from Leeds to London 20 minutes sooner. What we need to do is get from Skipton or Keighley quicker, and on trains that are neat and tidy.”

But Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, Liberal Democrat group leader, said: “Bradford would be foolish to turn its nose up at what will be the biggest capital project in the country. They will do a disservice to the young people who need work.”

Comments (13)

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5:57pm Fri 31 Jan 14

modman61 says...

No vision, no future, just sums up Bradford Council. Bunch of wasters they are.
No vision, no future, just sums up Bradford Council. Bunch of wasters they are. modman61
  • Score: -11

6:14pm Fri 31 Jan 14

thatsnotmyname says...

Well done, council number two who won't back it. Was only yesterday that MPs blocked the report into HS2 return for investment.
Well done, council number two who won't back it. Was only yesterday that MPs blocked the report into HS2 return for investment. thatsnotmyname
  • Score: 13

6:33pm Fri 31 Jan 14

m.r.c says...

Well done Bradford Council. I also question what benefit it would bring to Bradford. 46billion pound to knock off a negligible about of time off the journey time to London. I can think of loads more infrastructure schemes which would benefit the Bradford district more.
Well done Bradford Council. I also question what benefit it would bring to Bradford. 46billion pound to knock off a negligible about of time off the journey time to London. I can think of loads more infrastructure schemes which would benefit the Bradford district more. m.r.c
  • Score: 8

6:48pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

The council would rather see the money spent on a big pond to run from Bradford to London.
The council would rather see the money spent on a big pond to run from Bradford to London. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: -13

7:31pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Albion. says...

Do they really think their opinion will make the slightest difference? It wasn't even coming here.
Do they really think their opinion will make the slightest difference? It wasn't even coming here. Albion.
  • Score: 8

7:41pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

If Bradford for the last 20-30 years had been run in the way Leeds had we might have been the destination for this train. As it's been grossly mismanaged for decades no one outside Bradford gives a to$$.
If Bradford for the last 20-30 years had been run in the way Leeds had we might have been the destination for this train. As it's been grossly mismanaged for decades no one outside Bradford gives a to$$. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 2

9:02pm Fri 31 Jan 14

bcfc1903 says...

Thee Voice of Reason wrote:
If Bradford for the last 20-30 years had been run in the way Leeds had we might have been the destination for this train. As it's been grossly mismanaged for decades no one outside Bradford gives a to$$.
I don't actually think Bradford has been mismanaged while David Green has been council leader. Without doubt there has been mismanagement in the past prior to Green taking the reins.

Regarding HS2, it does seem an awful lot of cash being thrown at this project. Can't help thinking that that money would be better spent on upgrading the present day rail system. I can think of the electrification of the Bradford to Manchester line which would be a much better way to spend a fraction of the cash allocated to HS2. There must be hundreds of similar schemes that could use the rest of the enormous HS2 budget.
[quote][p][bold]Thee Voice of Reason[/bold] wrote: If Bradford for the last 20-30 years had been run in the way Leeds had we might have been the destination for this train. As it's been grossly mismanaged for decades no one outside Bradford gives a to$$.[/p][/quote]I don't actually think Bradford has been mismanaged while David Green has been council leader. Without doubt there has been mismanagement in the past prior to Green taking the reins. Regarding HS2, it does seem an awful lot of cash being thrown at this project. Can't help thinking that that money would be better spent on upgrading the present day rail system. I can think of the electrification of the Bradford to Manchester line which would be a much better way to spend a fraction of the cash allocated to HS2. There must be hundreds of similar schemes that could use the rest of the enormous HS2 budget. bcfc1903
  • Score: 8

9:13pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Mike Strutter says...

With the amount of negative scores for anti council comments I can only think a memo has been sent round the council offices today to mobilise the staff !!
With the amount of negative scores for anti council comments I can only think a memo has been sent round the council offices today to mobilise the staff !! Mike Strutter
  • Score: -15

12:00am Sat 1 Feb 14

NorthStart says...

A Government project to link the key cities of the Midlands and North to London by high speed rail should be an opportunity to use the route, stations and time and capacity gains of that railway to lessen Britain's North-South Divide. To do so it would have to fast-connect regional city groups so they became an economic counter-attraction to the massive London. It would have a first stage of construction that started in the North, to deliver the northern benefits of regional connectivity first. And that first stage would include the construction of an express commuter link between Manchester and Leeds, to fast-connect the rail networks of Lancashire to those of Yorkshire. HS2 does not do this and has been a waste of this opportunity.

But, HS2 Plan B is another way of doing it. It aims to put Bradford back on the map in Stage One of construction:

http://hsnorthstart.
wordpress….

But, does Bradford want to be put back on the map?
A Government project to link the key cities of the Midlands and North to London by high speed rail should be an opportunity to use the route, stations and time and capacity gains of that railway to lessen Britain's North-South Divide. To do so it would have to fast-connect regional city groups so they became an economic counter-attraction to the massive London. It would have a first stage of construction that started in the North, to deliver the northern benefits of regional connectivity first. And that first stage would include the construction of an express commuter link between Manchester and Leeds, to fast-connect the rail networks of Lancashire to those of Yorkshire. HS2 does not do this and has been a waste of this opportunity. But, HS2 Plan B is another way of doing it. It aims to put Bradford back on the map in Stage One of construction: http://hsnorthstart. wordpress…. But, does Bradford want to be put back on the map? NorthStart
  • Score: -7

1:21am Sat 1 Feb 14

G_Firth says...

At least they got something right for a change but those of us in the loop already know that the Yorkshire Branch of HS2 will never be built because of over running costs that are already blighting the project.
At least they got something right for a change but those of us in the loop already know that the Yorkshire Branch of HS2 will never be built because of over running costs that are already blighting the project. G_Firth
  • Score: 3

6:46pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Yorkshire Lass says...

Albion. wrote:
Do they really think their opinion will make the slightest difference? It wasn't even coming here.
I wonder why?
[quote][p][bold]Albion.[/bold] wrote: Do they really think their opinion will make the slightest difference? It wasn't even coming here.[/p][/quote]I wonder why? Yorkshire Lass
  • Score: 1

1:38pm Sun 2 Feb 14

basil fawlty says...

Well done Bradford Council. HS2 will just suck more wealth away from Bradford and the rest of West Yorkshire to Leeds. The money should be spent on electrification of existing routes like the line to line to Manchester via Halifax and building a decent railway station at the Interchange with a proper roof, waiting facilities and car parking.
Well done Bradford Council. HS2 will just suck more wealth away from Bradford and the rest of West Yorkshire to Leeds. The money should be spent on electrification of existing routes like the line to line to Manchester via Halifax and building a decent railway station at the Interchange with a proper roof, waiting facilities and car parking. basil fawlty
  • Score: 2

11:06am Wed 12 Feb 14

MrBenggo says...

"pigs can fly" "white elephants"spring to mind when I think of HS2.
"pigs can fly" "white elephants"spring to mind when I think of HS2. MrBenggo
  • Score: 0

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