A campaign has been launched to bring a new railway station to Bradford as part of the Northern Powerhouse Rail project.
Representatives from Bradford’s council, community and businesses have come together to back the campaign, called Next Stop Bradford, B Daily reported.
Leader of Bradford Council Susan Hinchcliffe said that the city is a logical place for a new rail link because of its “prime location in the centre of the Northern Powerhouse”. She added that it is home to over 17,000 businesses ranging from well-known firms to SMEs and has excellent higher and further education institutes.
She revealed that a new railway stop in the city centre could result in an additional £1.3 billion for the local economy per year, which would also boost the prospects of the Northern Powerhouse region as a whole.
“As the largest city in the UK not on a mainline rail network, Bradford has the potential to contribute much more to the Northern Powerhouse economy if connected to the Northern Powerhouse Rail network,” Councillor Hinchcliffe asserted.
The campaign was launched following comments made by Andrew Percy, Northern Powerhouse minister, who recently said that if it was up to him, he would give Bradford a stop on Northern Powerhouse rail.
The scheme is due to enter its design and development phase in the coming months and was first proposed as part of the Northern Transport Strategy unveiled last year.
A number of options for the new network were outlined in that report. These include building completely new lines between key stops such as Manchester and Leeds and Manchester and Sheffield, as well as significant upgrade work on the lines between Leeds and Newcastle and Leeds and Hull.
At that stage Bradford was not one of the cities due to be connected up to the network, but this could change.
President of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce Andy Caton told B Daily that it makes sense to build a new mainline station in the city.
“The city has one of the fastest growing populations in the UK, but transport connectivity and congestion remains a key issue for many businesses and residents,” he stated.
Whatever is decided about this new Northern Powerhouse Rail network, there will be a significant level of construction work undertaken in the region in the coming years.
And it isn’t only the regions railway networks that are set to see investment. The government’s Northern Powerhouse Strategy, published in November last year, set out a plan for investing in the region’s infrastructure as a whole, as well as funding to improve education and digital connectivity. Money to help with the construction of new housing was also proposed.
In total, the government stated that it would invest £13 billion in transport in the north of England over the course of this parliament.
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