LEADERS calling for a through railway station to be built in Bradford as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail have said the plan is an “opportunity for our young people”, and is “more than a transport plan”.

The calls were made at a meeting of members of the Leeds City Region held at the National Science and Media Museum to promote Transport for the North’s Strategic Transport Plan.

Business leaders were told how the plan will benefit the Leeds City Region, and how it will target local priorities, support businesses, and provide better opportunities for local people and future generations.

Jonathan Spruce, interim strategic director at Transport for the North, said work is already well underway to modernise public transport in the North.

He said: “We have a smart-ticketing programme, and smart tickets for rail are already in place.

“We are in the process of building an integrated website with all travel information for the North, and later this year we are rolling out a tap-on, tap-off travel network system.

“This isn’t an Oyster card for the North, this goes beyond an Oyster card and binds the North together.

“We want to reduce journey times, it takes 20 minutes to go between Bradford and Leeds on the train, we want that down to seven minutes, it’s an hour to Manchester, we want 20 minutes. We are calling on the government to commit long-term funding to ensure this takes place.

“We need HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail. You can’t have one without the other, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise doesn’t understand what the North needs.”

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council and chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said: “Bradford is becoming the symbol of the transformative effect Northern Powerhouse Rail will have.

“Every town and city cannot be successful without the others which is why interconnectivity is so important.

“This is a once in 200 years opportunity, our forefathers got it wrong not having a through station. This is our chance to get it right.”

Cllr Hinchcliffe also said a through station in Bradford and Northern Powerhouse Rail can help to eradicate poverty.


“It links people with jobs a lot quicker, and makes it easier for businesses to invest in Bradford because they know they can get to their customers a lot quicker,” she added.

“We know putting Bradford on the Northern Powerhouse Rail would add £15 billion to the economy, so it is the right thing to do and we need to make sure the Government makes this a priority investment going forward.

“A through station in the city centre is absolutely vital, there is no question about it.

“That is where all the jobs are, all the other transport infrastructure such as the bus network.”

She also said this investment in infrastructure will benefit the environment, getting more people off the roads and onto public transport.

“Leeds and Bradford are eight miles apart and 74 per cent of journeys between them are made by car, and can take up to an hour.

“That doesn’t make economic or environmental sense. If we get more people on high speed trains and off the roads it will help reduce the carbon output that way, saving time and the environment.”