PREPARATION works are starting this week ready for improvements between Bradford's two main railway stations.

The plans at Forster Square include refurbishing the fibres sculptures, replacing uneven paving with new stone, planting more trees and installing new lighting and new street furniture.

Two plane trees in a poor state at the bottom of the ramp leads from Forster Square station up to Cheapside will be replaced by four new trees to stay in keeping with refurbished raised planter and seating area in St Blaise Square next to the railway station.

Other improvements to be carried out on Bridge Street between the Interchange and Market Street junction, are similar natural stone paving, tree planting and better street lighting - all to help improve the main route pedestrians use between the city's two stations.

The improvements are being financed by the Regional Growth Fund which needs to be spent during this calendar year, although Bradford Council was not able to say last night how much they will cost.

Bradford Council leader, Councillor David Green, said: "We are working on an integrated approach to turn both Forster Square station and the Interchange into high quality city centre gateways.

"These public realm works are the initial steps but the long-term aim is to work with partners to improve the station buildings themselves."

The trees are being cut down this week with the groundworks and repaving starting at the beginning of September.

While work on the ramp is taking place, it will be closed to pedestrians.Signs will be put up to divert pedestrians along the alternative flat route which connects Forster Square station to Lower Kirkgate. This lies between the Midland Hotel to the west and the HMRC building and the Westfield compound to the east. Once the ramp and associated works are finished, the flat route will be repaved as part of the works.

Meanwhile a petition on Bradford Council's e-petition page shows a move to develop the archways leading from Forster Train Station.

James Moore's idea is for a development to complement the regeneration of the city centre - as well as act as a link to the new Westfield Centre and the Sunbridge Wells project which has just got planning permission to create Bradford's first underground market in a tunnel system.

It will become the city's own Victorian quarter for shop units together with trading streets barrows, restaurants and bars in a setting in keeping with the history and ambiance of Bradford, say those behind it.

The main entrance to the tunnel is behind the City Park development fronting the new City Park lake.