AUTHORITIES IN West Yorkshire are looking to develop a mass transit solution for the region, with funding sought through the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund to take the work forward.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s bid to the fund includes a £20 million ask to develop proposals, with initial routes identified. The bid documentation says the system would form the first tranche of the ‘City Region Transit Network’ to complement and support new HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail lines, with detailed alignments, confirmation around mode choice and value for money assessment to follow as part of the next stage of development works. Modes such as bus rapid transit and tram-train will form part of the assessment.

Through its devolution deal discussions, WYCA is proposing a mayor would receive a devolved transport budget for the area, with Government committing £20 million to development of the mass transit proposals and to work with the Combined Authority to fund delivery. An Urban Transit Strategic Outline Business Case is due to be presented in the summer.

The Transforming Cities Fund bid is based on three funding scenarios, with asks ranging from £292 to £480 million. Included is funding for a new White Rose station, between Leeds and Dewsbury on the trans-Pennine route to serve communities in south Leeds at Cottingley, Churwell and Millshaw. A report to the Combined Authority gives the total cost of the station at just under £22 million, with the TCF bid being for £12 million to build the station and provide associated access measures. The Combined Authority is proposing to contribute £5 million, with a funding strategy for the project in development. WYCA told Modern Railways the aim would be to start construction in early 2021 with completion in mid-2022.

The station is located 750 metres from the current Cottingley station, and the WYCA report cautions it is unlikely two stations so close together could be fully sustained, with consultation to take place with local people ‘to understand their needs and develop a scheme that best meets their requirements’.

Improvements to existing stations also feature, including better linkage between the two stations in Bradford and improvements at Halifax, Elland, Skipton, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Leeds, Selby and York.

Meanwhile, Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council has awarded Morgan Sindall a £17 million contract for redevelopment of Bradford Forster Square station. Work is planned to begin in early 2021 and will create a new, larger building. Funding is through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund.