Combined Authority confirms commitment to HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has underlined its support for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail as critical to the region’s future.

Northern Powerhouse Rail with a station in the centre of Bradford will connect with HS2 at a redeveloped Leeds Station with both projects integrated with the East Coast Main Line and an upgraded trans-Pennine route.

Centre of excellence 

Through its HS2 Growth Strategy, the Combined Authority has set out how investment in this infrastructure could create 40,000 jobs, support the regeneration of key sites, help the region become a centre of excellence in rail skills and inspire a generation of engineers and technicians.

HS2 infrastructure, including a junction at Stourton, will also be used as part of the Northern Powerhouse Rail network to improve inter-city services across the North and transform links between Leeds and Sheffield.

Once-in-a-century opportunity

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has written to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling confirming its continued support for this “once-in-a-century opportunity to transform strategic rail infrastructure in this country”.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, said: “It is more important than ever that the region and the North of England as a whole speak with a united voice on HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.

“Our plans to bring improved economic opportunities to all our communities are intrinsically linked to this investment in major infrastructure and it is essential that any uncertainty is removed.

“We will continue to work with the Department for Transport and Transport for the North to ensure these investments are delivered and in a way that maximises the benefits for all parts of our region.”

Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and Member of the Combined Authority, said: “Unlocking the full potential of the Northern Powerhouse requires high speed rail connections north to south and east to west integrated with an upgraded trans-Pennine line and the East Coast Main Line.

“Following decades of underinvestment, these projects offer the chance to remove historic obstacles to inclusive growth and our focus should be on accelerating their delivery.”

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail are not only integral to our ambitions for the region, they are integral to each other, sharing track and junctions. Any move to scrap one would significantly damage plans for the other.

“Deciding not to go ahead with one or the other would be akin to having the M62 without the M1, illogical and detrimental to those communities left with poorer quality transport connections.”

14 Nov 2018

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