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£10.5m budget for Low Moor station is approved
The budget for the long-awaited railway station at Low Moor, Bradford, has now topped £10 million – five times its original estimate.
But transport bosses insist their business case is robust and that trains will be calling at the new station by December next year.
Reinstatement of the station between Bradford and Halifax was originally priced at £2m, but the costs have gradually spiralled over the past decade and now stand at £10.5m.
The latest budget hike was approved at a Metro meeting closed to press and public earlier this year.
The growing cost of the scheme has been blamed on a host of factors, including inflation and the need for a bigger-than-expected car park.
It is also suggested there might be mineshafts underneath the site, which might need to be dealt with during construction.
The station’s design is also having to be modified to account for work being done to speed-up journey times on the line, as part of Network Rail’s ‘northern hub’ rail improvement plan.
The cost of acquiring the land itself is also going up. Money has been set aside in case the authorities have to use compulsory purchase powers to force landowners to sell up.
He said the £10.5 million figure was a maximum and the authorities may not need to use it all.
He said: “We are very confident that once it goes through planning, it will be – excuse the pun – full steam ahead.”
A spokesman for Metro, now part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said over the past 12 months it had made “significant progress” with the scheme, which had allowed it to draw up preliminary designs and submit a full planning application.
She said the business case for the Metro and Bradford Council project had recently “been re-confirmed as robust”.