East Leeds Parkway location in doubt

At a meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the location of the proposed East Leeds Parkway railway station remains in a state of flux.

The West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund includes an allocation for an East Leeds Parkway Station. One of the aims of building a rail station in this area is to provide a strategic park and ride station for both local commuter journeys to Leeds and direct trains to further destinations such as Manchester, York and possibly London.

There are, however, a significant number of issues to resolve in taking East Leeds Parkway forward, including impact of the ambition to serve Thorpe Park on station location. Feasibility work has considered a number of locations for the station including Micklefield, Garforth and Thorpe Park, but the lack of current clarity around any Northern Powerhouse Rail (formerly known as HS3) alignment to the east of Leeds could also mean that any new station built on the current East Leeds Rail Corridor may in the future only be able to offer local stopping services to Leeds, rather than the longer distance destinations identified above.

With respect to proposals for journey time improvements to the east of Leeds, WYCA is aware of a DfT request to Network Rail for enhancements between Leeds and York, recently published as part of the Sir Peter Hendy review of Network Rail’s enhancement programme, which refers to a possible ‘Garforth Area Capacity Enhancement Scheme’. Any service changes that may be proposed in the Garforth area will need to take into account the views of WYCA and be agreed by the Rail North/DfT Partnership, of which we are a member.

In view of the above, it is proposed to review options for an East Leeds Parkway Station, including a location that would serve the Thorpe Park development area. A report will be brought back to Transport Committee when this has been undertaken.

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