£830million for mass transit system linking West Yorkshire's cities and towns

Plans to develop a mass transit system linking West Yorkshire’s cities and towns are set to begin after the Government announced the region will get £830million to spend on transport.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 7:00 am
The proposed network would include a link between Dewsbury and Bradford

Last month the West Yorkshire Combined Authority submitted its £920million bid for a five-year City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement to the Government.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that he is giving West Yorkshire £830million to develop its integrated transport system.

The authority is waiting to hear the specific details of the funding, but hopes that it can start developing its plans for a mass transit system and progress plans to massively improve the bus network with bus priority and more zero-emission electric buses. plus more frequent and reliable services.

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Details of the mass transit system were announced earlier this year.

Although routes have not been finalised, it would likely include a mass transit interchange in Bradford city centre, with a line linking the city to Leeds.

There would be stops in Heckmondwike, Cleckheaton, Junction 26 of the M62, “South Bradford” (possibly Holme Wood) and Laisterdyke.

There would be additional stops in areas with existing rail stations such as Low Moor, Bradford Interchange and Bradford Forster Square and Pudsey.

The full network could eventually include a line linking Bradford to Baildon, Guiseley and Leeds Bradford Airport, one linking the city to Halifax, Elland and Brighouse and one linking Bradford to Dewsbury – as well as the direct Bradford to Leeds link.

As the combined authority aims to become zero carbon by 2038, some of the new funding could be used to get people to switch from private cars to public transport and to make more safe, green space for walking and cycling.

West Yorkshire’s Mayor, Tracy Brabin, welcomed the £830million funding announcement.

She said: “West Yorkshire bid for the upper limit of funding as set out by the Government, but our region needs even more than that if the Government is committed to levelling up.

“As the Prime Minister said, it is indeed a disgrace that West Yorkshire is the only major region in Western Europe without a Metro system, so we desperately need the Government to address years of underinvestment in transport in our region.

“We’re keen to get more details on this funding so we can start delivering a 21st century transport service.

“Our vision for a more accessible and inclusive transport system which helps us tackle the climate emergency is essential if we are to achieve levelling up.

“Everyone in our region has something to give and we want to make sure there’s fair access to jobs, education and training which means they can increase their skills and get better paid jobs.

“I welcome the £830million but I will be pushing for much more. It’s good news though that the Government is finally giving us the boost which means we can start work on providing the transport system the people of West Yorkshire deserve.

“I’m grateful to all our region’s leaders for working so hard to deliver devolution, enabling us to be considered for this vital funding.”