THE start of a 13-week consultation on a vision for an improved transport infrastructure affecting Bradford was held at Bradford College yesterday.

Business group Transport for the North (TfN) made up of 19 local transport authorities across the north of England outlined the first draft of its Strategic Transport Plan.

The emphasis was on the new station Bradford is due to get on the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) line.

Speakers at the consultation included senior policy and strategy officer for TfN, Robin Miller-Stott, Julian Jackson, assistant director planning, transportation and Highways with Bradford Council and Mike Cartwright, West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Miller-Stott told an audience of business people, council members and Bradford residents: “Transport investments and other improvements could see an additional 850,000 jobs in the north and generate an additional £100 billion Gross Value Added.”

He said six corridors had been identified for transport infrastructure with a large emphasis on east/west movement.

This would be addressed with a developed road network, improved freight transport with moving some of the current heavy vehicles off the road and into freight trains.

“There is a whole pipeline of projects going forward and will rely heavily on government funding as well as investment from the north.

“We want to be sustainable and bring in new ways to be innovative and have the north be a catalyst for future economies,” he said.

Mike Cartwright added: “ The chamber of commerce fully supports the plans by TfN because we want them to support us too,” he said.

“We want to work with TFN to make the government see we can improve things.”

Mr Jackson added: “Bradford is a key economic centre. It is a large city which contributes a lot to the north as it is with an abundance in the manufacturing, engineering and digital sector as well as a healthy enabling sector such as finance.

“The key project fir Bradford is the Northern Powerhouse Rail route. It is crucial. We are the largest city in the UK not to have a rail through route.

“The high speed rail link to the city has put Bradford on the map.”

One member of the public said the group should be looking at improvements sooner.

“This is all about 30 years in the future,” said Peter Allan.

“I have been campaigning for a crossrail for Bradford since 2004. I am 86 now.”

Mr Allan said he wanted to see a link between the Interchange and Forster Square.

“The Interchange is 28 feet higher than Forster Square. A line could have been taken straight from behind the Great Victoria Hotel with a viaduct over Leeds Road, then to to Hamm Strasse before joining above Forster Square. It could have been done by now. This is too far in the future. Lots could change by then.”