A new rail station for Bradford commuters will open next summer, potentially bringing economic growth and jobs to the city.
Yesterday, the Department for Transport announced it was ploughing £9.5 million into building two new stations on the Bradford to Leeds line.
The funding means work can finally start on Apperley Bridge station in July and is expected to be completed by August 2015.
It will initially have two services an hour and a park-and-ride service between Bradford, Leeds, Yeadon and Guiseley. It could reduce the number of local road journeys by around 200,000 a year.
The grant also signals full approval of the scheme, which has delighted politicians who have been pushing for the development for many years.
Leader of Bradford Council, Councillor David Green said: “It is great news that a new station at Apperley Bridge has been given final approval. It will form a major link in the district’s transport chain and support our efforts to improve transport infrastructure and investment opportunities in the district.”
The other new station will be built at Kirkstall Forge and is part of a development including around 1,000 new homes for the area.
The new stations make up the £16 million Leeds Rail Growth scheme. The remainder of the cost will be met by £5 million from Commercial Estates Group – the developers of a major housing development in Kirkstall Forge – and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee.
A train station opened in Apperley Bridge in 1846, but was closed because of the Beeching Axe in 1965. Plans to re-open it were first announced in 1999, although years of delays followed. In 2010, planning permission for the station and a 300-space car park was granted by Bradford Council.
Bradford East MP David Ward (Lib Dem) has been calling for a station in the area since before he was in Parliament.
“The new station will be a major regeneration project for the local area and provide new transport links for the wider community. They will unlock growth and help create many hundreds of new jobs.
“This £9.5 million investment is good news in Bradford, providing the infrastructure to bring in new jobs and new opportunities. We need to be promoting even more projects in Bradford such as this to ensure that we improve the infrastructure in Bradford to drive further economic growth and promote future job prospects,” he said.
“These projects have come about because of relentless pressure.”
Coun Val Slater (Labour), the council’s cabinet member for transport, added: “It will aid some proposed developments on that side of Bradford that depend on these stations being up and running.”
NEW LOW MOOR STATION UPDATE
Plans for another new station, at Low Moor, were approved by Bradford Council planners earlier this month.
The £10.5 million Network Rail project, on the Caldervale line at New Works Road, is expected to open next year.
Now that planning permission has been granted, the scheme is currently going through Network Rail’s Governance for Railway Investment Projects process, which is how the group controls major projects.