NEW images have revealed a vision of how a transformed Bradford Interchange could look – with tunnels carrying a new high-speed rail line under the city centre.

The computer-generated scenes were created for Bradford Council, as campaigners continue their fight to secure a high-speed station in the city centre.

The council has also revealed that new research shows investment in a revamped Interchange could bring 15,000 new jobs across the Leeds City Region.

Transport for the North’s (TfN) draft Strategic Transport Plan was announced in January and proposes a new Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) line connecting Manchester and Leeds via Bradford.

But Next Stop Bradford, a cross-party campaign by political and business leaders, has warned the proposals are “not a done deal” and is fighting for investment to be made in the city centre, rather than in a parkway station. 

The new images show a vision of how the station could look in the 2030s.

They will be subject to feasibility work over the coming months. 

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Regeneration, Planning and Transport portfolio holder, said the city centre station was key and the best way to achieve this would be through a new line through the city centre. This could involve some tunnelling on either side of the Interchange. 

Cllr Ross-Shaw said this would be the most “transformative” way forward.

A decision on the preferred route is expected by the end of the year. 
Meanwhile, new research by analysts at GENECON, a specialist economic development consultancy, has revealed the full economic impact potential of a Bradford city centre station on NPR. 
It has found: 

l if Bradford Council secures the backing of Transport for the North and central Government, the North’s economy could be boosted by up to £15bn by 2060

l investment in a revamped Bradford Interchange, serving traditional rail and bus services, as well as a new east-west high-speed link, could generate up to 15,000 new jobs across the Leeds City Region. 

The research has been commissioned by Bradford Council to help support the campaign to make the case for a city centre station to Government and Transport for the North. 

It has analysed how improved high-speed connectivity could be the catalyst for wider city centre regeneration, as a way to make the city a more attractive place to live, work and invest in. 

The CGI images, produced for the council by architecture and engineering firm BDP, also show how Bradford Interchange and the surrounding area could be transformed by investing in a city centre station. 

They show a more open, public area in front of a multi-level interchange with NPR on the lowest level.

The new line would see journey times to Manchester slashed to 20 minutes, while a journey to Leeds would take just seven minutes.

It is hoped this would act as a catalyst for further regeneration and investment across the city. If the green light is given from Government, NPR is expected to be up and running in the mid-2030s. 

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council leader and West Yorkshire Combined Authority chair, said: “A city centre station in Bradford would transform our city and enable us to punch our weight as a driver of the Northern Powerhouse economy – to the tune of up to £15bn by 2060. 

“That is the definition of transformational change, and it is exactly the impact that an ambitious project like NPR is trying to achieve.

“Only a city centre NPR station will have this game-changing impact for our city, finally getting Bradford off the branch line and unleashing the huge economic potential of the UK’s youngest city.”

The latest development has been launched as part of a pipeline of major investment opportunities unveiled at MIPIM, an international conference in Cannes, France. Bradford is attending as part of the Leeds City Region delegation. The announcement also follows the launch of Bradford’s ambitious economic strategy, which aims to boost the district’s economy by 40 per cent by 2030.

Transport for the North’s 30-year draft Transport Plan outlines a vision for transformational transport investment across the North of England.

The Telegraph & Argus exclusively revealed in February last year that an underground station was one option being looked at as the West Yorkshire Combined Authority fought for Bradford to be included on the high-speed line between Manchester and Leeds.