TRANSPORT Secretary Grant Shapps has said feedback about proposed cuts to LNER’s Bradford to London train service will be listened to “carefully”.

Government-owned LNER is proposing a significant timetable change which will result in services from Bradford being cut, whilst there will be an increase in services from Leeds, York and Doncaster.

The number of services from Bradford Forster Square to London will be slashed from two per day to one, however, LNER is looking to increase services from Horsforth from two to seven.

The proposal has been met with anger in Bradford, with Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe slamming it as “an affront to aspirations to level up our towns and city”.

In a written response to Cllr Hinchcliffe, Mr Shapps said: “I recognise that the changes proposed are significant, which is why I want to assure you that the train operators involved will listen carefully to all of the feedback provided and take that into account when considering next steps in the development and implementation of this timetable. It is important that the proposals are locally supported and I can assure you we will listen to that feedback carefully.”

Cllr Hinchcliffe has previously met with and written to Mr Shapps to call for better train services to benefit the district, including the LNER services, the case for a Bradford city centre stop on Northern Powerhouse Rail and the reopening of the Skipton to Colne line.

“From my perspective, it is unacceptable to be reducing services from Bradford and Shipley to London and it is completely at odds with the Government’s policy on ‘levelling up’,” she said.

“Creating better jobs and opportunities for our district’s citizens depends on better connectivity regionally and nationally. 

“We have consistently made these points clear to Government and we will continue to do so. 

“I encourage everyone to have their say on LNER’s proposed cuts to services from Bradford and Shipley to London by taking part in the 2022 timetable consultation on the LNER website.”

LNER previously said of the plans: “Due to local track and platform capacity constraints between Leeds and Bradford, our current second Bradford service requires an Azuma to be stabled in Leeds for several hours ahead of making its return journey.

"Continuing this service under our new, more extensive timetable from May 2022 would result in shorter trains running on our core route, including at Leeds.

"We are proposing this second service is removed, so we can deliver more seats through the day at Leeds, which is of benefit for Bradford customers connecting with LNER via the regular Northern Trains service who operate six trains per hour between Leeds and Bradford.

"In addition, direct Bradford-London services will continue to be operated by Grand Central, alongside LNER’s one return service per day. We continue to explore the possibility of introducing a regular Bradford-London service in the coming years, including working with Network Rail to establish the infrastructure capacity works that would be required to enable this.”