Have your say on ambitious rail plans for Bradford

Transport for the North have published their draft Strategic Transport Plan for the north of England – which includes a proposed Northern Powerhouse Rail line linking Bradford with Leeds, Manchester and beyond. Members of the public now have until Tuesday 17 April to have their say.

Although the proposals are encouraging for Bradford, there has been no confirmation yet of where the city’s NPR station will be, and it is likely to be a choice between a city centre station, or a parkway-style station located closer to the M62 corridor.

Bradford Civic Society’s executive committee has decided to support the campaign to locate the NPR station within the city centre, recognising the enormous economic benefits it could bring to the city and wider district.

In our formal response, we have broadly supported the NPR proposals, but have reaffirmed our support for a new city centre station, and have also asked Transport for the North to commit to a comprehensive rebuild of Bradford Interchange in the meantime.

Bradford Civic Society encourages all members to have their say on the proposals. You can view the draft Strategic Transport Plan here, and email your feedback here. Alternatively, you can post your feedback to TfN Draft Transport Plan Consultation, IPSOS Mori North, Freepost Admail 4275, Manchester M60 1HE

You may also direct any questions about the campaign for a city centre station directly to Next Stop Bradford by emailing mail@nextstopbradford.com

Bradford Council recently released two images of how a new high-speed rail station for Bradford could look.

The full text of Bradford Civic Society’s response to Transport for the North’s plan can be read below:

“Bradford Civic Society have long supported calls for better rail connectivity in the city centre. Specifically, we have traditionally supported the call for a ‘cross city link’ connecting the two lines entering the city centre that are currently truncated. It is therefore encouraging to see the emergence of a new proposal which, despite not being the ‘cross city link’ we’ve previously supported, goes a long way to give central Bradford a proper through-line, better connecting it with major cities across the north.

While we can see the logistical case for a parkway-type station, this option would be of very limited benefit to the city and wider district of Bradford. Only a city centre station will serve as a once-in-a-generation catalyst for unprecedented regeneration on a scale never seen before in Bradford.

We are very encouraged by the findings of analysts at GENECON, which show that NPR in Bradford city centre could create over 17,000 gross jobs and generate around £15.5bn in additional GVA towards the economy by 2060.

Bradford Civic Society is, however, mindful of the very distant dates being mooted for NPR, and would therefore encourage Transport for the North to commit to supporting a comprehensive rebuild of Bradford Interchange station in the short-term, to enable NPR at a later date, but to also significantly improve the passenger experience and enhance the city centre in the meantime.”