PLANS to give Bradford Forster Square station a £17m revamp have moved a step closer.

The scheme would see the station completely remodelled to offer a more welcoming gateway to the city, with a new cafe and ticket office, shops, a community garden, two new lifts and cycle parking.

It is forecast to be complete by March 2021.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s investment committee has now allocated £3.6m to be spent on detailed designs and surveys.

A report to the committee said the investment would “raise Bradford’s image as a place to live and work and act as a catalyst for further investment”.

Bradford Council’s leader, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, who chairs the investment committee, said: “This is good news for Bradford. As the country’s youngest city, Bradford is going to need significant investment in transport infrastructure.

“This decision represents a step on the way to delivering some improvement. I will continue to push for funding that will make our district a better place to live in and easier to travel around.”

The committee also progressed with a host of other transport schemes across West Yorkshire.

This included agreeing to spend £477,000 on feasibility work for a £12.5m scheme to develop extra car parking spaces at four railway stations, including Apperley Bridge.

Plans to build a new £25m railway station at Leeds Bradford Airport are also being progressed, with a £500,000 business case now to be drawn up.

The committee gave indicative approval to a £3.1m scheme - funded in part by a £2m Government grant - to install 88 electric vehicle charge points across West Yorkshire for use only by taxis and minicabs.

It is hoped this would allow for 500 existing diesel taxis and minicabs to be replaced by electric vehicles, cutting harmful nitrogen oxide emissions by nearly a fifth.

And £67.8m of potential works to reduce congestion on key roads will also move to the outline business case stage. This includes improvements to the junction of Leeds Road and Shipley Airedale Road, in Bradford, as well as three busy junctions on Bradford’s outer ring road, at Toller Lane, Thornton Road and Great Horton Road.

The improvements will aim to speed up car journeys by eight per cent and cut 12 per cent off journeys by bus.

Meanwhile, a funding bid of £3.1m to buy the former Marks and Spencer building in Darley Street and turn it into a new council-run market will be considered at a future meeting, committee papers reveal.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s executive member for regeneration, and a member of the committee, said: “With a new Forster Square station including new lifts up to Manor Row and quicker bus travel on the district’s major gateways these will all improve footfall, making things easier for local people and visitors as well as providing a boost for the district’s economy.”