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Work to upgrade railway line could see airport train line link built
Plans for a railway station at Leeds Bradford Airport could be boosted by the latest efforts to upgrade rail services.
Network Rail is currently carrying out about £16m of work on the Harrogate Line, which runs from Leeds to Harrogate, which is due to finish later this year.
And transport bosses are hoping a successful electrification could pave the way for a new station at the airport – potentially making it more accessible to millions of people.
This week, members of LBA’s Airport Consultative Committee, will meet to hear the latest developments from Brian Dunsby, the chief executive of the Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce, which has been leading the calls for improvements on the Harrogate line.
Earlier this year, he told the committee electrification is a “realistic and distinct possibility” and on Thursday he is expected to say developments are continuing.
Last night Mr Dunsby said all the pieces are in place for electrification, but the funding has still to be sorted.
“The Department of Transport has said yes in theory, but has told us to go back and work out the costs and benefits,” he said.
Mr Dunsby said plans for a Leeds Bradford Parkway Station are being regarded as a top priority, although he admitted it could be some way off.
“It would be ideal to build on the existing line at a 15-minute frequency and a 15 minutes journey time from Leeds,” he said.
“It could link to the airport’s long-stay car park and perhaps have a shuttle like the ones they have at Gatwick.”
Earlier this year, the West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority backed the plans for a full Harrogate line electrification and airport station, while Bradford Council’s strategic director for regeneration and culture, Barra Mac Ruairi, said he would like to see a tram/train or heavy rail link from Bradford to LBA to “ensure that the district would not suffer an economic disadvantage by the provision of a fixed link from the airport to Leeds only”.