Reviving a campaign to develop a cross-city rail link between Forster Square station and Bradford Interchange could jeopardise projects already in the pipeline, a regeneration meeting was told yesterday.

City Hall’s regeneration chief Barra Mac Ruairi said priority must continue to be given to projects such as the City Park and the Westfield Broadway shopping centre.

He was responding to a plea by Andrew Mason, managing director of Newmason Properties, for the Bradford cross-rail project to be revived.

It was shelved in 1989 following a review which concluded it was unlikely to generate enough passengers, would be visually intrusive and too expensive to run.

Mr Mason was addressing a Bradford Regeneration Summit focusing on transport and connectivity which was held at Leeds City College in Keighley.

Mr Ruairi said: “I welcome the passion but in these austere times we need to make sure we can deliver projects like Westfield.

“We need to pull these present projects together. I want to continue the course and the efforts we have made and not lose the opportunity we have before us.”

He said 25 officers in his department had spent many hours investigating the potential of the cross-link, including scrutinising the site, after being approached by Mr Mason.

It was concluded that the scheme was feasible but expensive and the transport and economic benefits were only small.

A major factor was the estimated cost of a new scheme which since 1989 had risen from £30 million to £140 million, he said.

Mr Mason argued that a link would transform the city.

He said: “If we want to increase the number of people coming to this city and we want the economy to flourish we must do more. If we want to change this city centre and create jobs and put life back into this place we must put a station at the heart of the city.”

He was backed by Roger Owen, a Bradford City director and former board member of Morrisons supermarket.

The summit also focussed on how to make roads safer in the city, on transport infrastructure between Bradford and Leeds and rail links to London Workshops were held on the transport plan and on flexible and sustainable travel choices.