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Bradford councillor Chris Greaves to lobby transport secretary
A Bradford councillor has promised to “lobby like nobody’s business” to make sure a greater share of the country’s transport funding comes to West Yorkshire.
Councillor Chris Greaves, the new chairman of Metro, the West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority, is due to travel to London next month to meet Transport Secretary Philip Hammond.
Coun Greaves said: “Historically, our region has been under-funded when it comes to transport and I will be lobbying like nobody’s business to make sure we are not hit again. Making any cuts less hard-hitting here would be an opportunity for the Government to start redressing that legacy.
“Transport schemes such as the planned NGT trolleybus network in Leeds, new rail stations, Castleford Interchange and the new southern entrance at Leeds station will all help contribute to the creation of local jobs.”
Coun Greaves said Metro, like many other organisations, faced “difficult times” as the Government’s financial recovery measures took effect.
He said: “The Bradford worry, if that’s the right term, is Low Moor station. The funding for that was coming from the Regional Funding Allocation. That has been heavily cut so at the moment we don’t know where we are.
“What we have been told is that any spending of capital is at our own risk, so we are sitting on our hands until we know where we are.
“Officers are preparing reports to be brought back to the executive in late July to see where we are up to.”
Funding for a new rail station at Apperley Bridge, which has been granted planning permission by Bradford Council, is also under review by the coalition Government as it looks to save billions of pounds of public spending.
Coun Greaves said he would also press for the High Speed Rail (HSR) network to run through the east of the country and into Yorkshire.
He said: “We are very concerned about HSR now because the preferred route seems to be the S-shape route, which would go from Birmingham to Manchester and then snake across the Pennines, rather than the Y-shape route, which would go from London to Birmingham and then branch off to Yorkshire and Manchester.
“In our view, the S in the S-shaped route stands for ‘Stupid’ because it would make the whole east side of the country an economic desert.”