West Yorkshire’s latest rail station has welcomed its first passengers.
Kirkstall Forge Station, which is located within the new Kirkstall Forge development, opened to passengers on Sunday 19 June. Initially, one train per hour will call in each direction, with additional services during the morning and evening peaks.
The new station includes a 129-space car park and a pickup/drop off point and, fully-accessible platforms with both staircases and lifts. It also has secure cycle parking and waiting shelters.
Together with Apperley Bridge Rail Station, which opened in December 2015, Kirkstall Forge is part of West Yorkshire’s £15.9m Rail Growth Package.
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Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said:
"It is fantastic news that rail services to the new Kirkstall Forge Station are about to open. The station has a key role to play in realising the major regeneration potential of the broader Kirkstall Forge development, bringing with it new jobs, training opportunities, housing and a range of office and leisure facilities to offer a significant boost to the local economy. We look forward to seeing lots of people making use of the new station and Kirkstall Forge as a prime destination as well as a gateway to the city centre and beyond in the weeks, months and years to come.”
Cllr Keith Wakefield, Chairman of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:
“I’m delighted that the latest addition to West Yorkshire’s rail network is now open. The Combined Authority has worked closely with our partners to create a modern station to serve the Kirkstall Forge development, as well as people living close by.
“Kirkstall Forge Station will provide people with links to work and leisure opportunities in Leeds, as well as bring people to the wider Kirkstall Forge development. It will also reduce existing congestion and improve journey reliability along key routes and electric train links replacing car journeys will help reduce harmful emissions.”
Transport Minister Andrew Jones MP said:
“This brand new station at Kirkstall Forge is another example of the funding that we are putting into local transport in the North, boosting the Northern Powerhouse and generating economic growth throughout the region. Not only will the government’s £9.5m investment into Kirkstall Forge and Apperley Bridge rail stations bring better journeys for passengers in the area, it will also lead to up to £400m of private investment by the Commercial Estates Group into houses and jobs for the region.”
Jon Kenny, Director of CEG, said:
“The delivery of the rail station has undoubtedly provided the catalyst for extensive employment and residential development on this historic site. It has helped to secure a headquarter tenant for our first flagship office, which completes next autumn, marking the largest out-of-town commercial office building delivered in the region for more than 40 years.
“We look forward to welcoming the residents, workers, pupils, commuters and visitors who will use the station and enjoy fresh, sustainable new ways of living and working amongst acres of green space in a unique wooded riverside setting.”
Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said:
“Kirkstall Forge is another major regeneration scheme within the Leeds City Region that has come to fruition as a result of effective partnership working between the public and private sectors. A LEP loan alongside other public and private sector investment, has supported the design and construction of this new station which has not only created jobs but generated further investment in the area and improved transport links to connect people to places and jobs.
“Kirkstall Forge train station, alongside the new riverside development of homes, office space, leisure and shopping facilities, continues to be an important addition to the City Region’s property proposition for investors and sets to benefit from continued investment into the area over the long-term.”
Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director for Network Rail, said:
“I know how important Kirkstall Forge station will be to the local community in order to improve access to jobs, education and for leisure travellers as well. A growing railway requires this kind of investment to help deliver social and economic growth and the completion of this station is excellent news for not only Leeds, but West Yorkshire as a whole too.”
Alex Hynes, Managing Director for Northern, said:
“This is more fantastic news for our customers as we start managing another brand new station in West Yorkshire; the second of three in the region. Kirkstall Forge opens up a cleaner, greener way of moving between Leeds, Ilkley and Skipton for the local community as well as helping reduce traffic on the roads. Fully accessible, the station’s car park will also be welcomed by our commuting customers.”
Building work has started at the Kirkstall Forge development, with the first 110,000 sq ft, seven-story flagship office due for completion in 2017, anchored by two pre-lets. CEG’s 57 acre development is set to become home to a thriving mixed-use community in a unique wooded, riverside setting. Ultimately it will comprise of 1,050 new homes, 300,000 sq ft of offices and 100,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and community space, creating around 2,400 new jobs.
Read more about the Kirkstall Forge project (opens in a new window).
See a fly-through of the Kirkstall Forge site (opens in a new window).