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Apperley Bridge Station may go ahead
9:54am Wednesday 27th October 2010 in Apperley Bridge
by Anika Bourley Parliamentary Correspondent Plans to build two new rail stations could still go ahead, but transport chiefs must look at how the scheme can be delivered at a cheaper cost.
The Leeds Rail Growth programme, which includes plans for stations at Apperley Bridge and Kirkstall Forge, is one of 22 schemes placed in a “development group”, meaning the Government likes the scheme in principle, but savings must be made.
The Department for Transport said the scheme can now bid for a share of £600 million funding available, with a final decision due to be made at the end of 2011.
The project is one of 22 in the category. Another 34 schemes required “further analysis” before they could reach that stage, including the Leeds Inner Ring Road Maintenance scheme.
Mr Hammond told MPs: “While we have had to make some tough choices, spending on transport was treated as a priority.”
The proposed new stations at Apperley Bridge and Kirkstall Forge are part of a £23.25m Rail Growth Package submitted to the DfT by Metro and its partners in November last year.
Transport chiefs said it would act as a catalyst for attracting further private investment to the region and would contribute to closing the £30bn annual productivity gap between the North and the rest of England.
Bradford Councillor Chris Greaves, chairman of Metro, said: “Around 15 per cent of the scheme would be met by local contribution, which is significantly higher than the DfT’s minimum requirement of ten per cent, and the whole Rail Growth Package is in line with the Coalition’s commitment to rebalance and grow the economy through privately led growth.
“It offers taxpayers value for money and fits in with the Government’s policies of promoting sustainable travel, improving air quality and accessibility, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, so it deserves to survive the spending review.”
Both Apperley Bridge and Kirkstall Forge stations would have park-and-ride facilities and are key elements of the package, which also focuses on increasing park-and-ride capacity at stations across West Yorkshire.
Other key benefits of the scheme include better use of capacity on the Leeds-Bradford Forster Square route and reduced journey times.