£17m railway station moves a step closer to reality

Article dated Wednesday Jun 21, 2017 at 05:18 PM

Plans to revamp Bradford Forster Square railway station to provide a welcoming new gateway to the city have moved a step closer to becoming a reality after being given initial funding approval by councillors.

The proposals were among a series of transport schemes being discussed at the latest West Yorkshire Investment Committee meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. 

The proposed new £17m Forster Square Station building is set to provide an attractive gateway to Bradford with a new cafe, information centre, new toilets and seating,  parking for 75 cars and a community garden and meadow area.

A report to the committee said this investment could help to boost Bradford’s profile as a place to live and work and act as a catalyst for further investment.

Four existing station arches could also be used for a newsagents, cycle parking, a mess room for rail staff and a storage room for equipment for the community garden as part of the redevelopment.

Bradford Council has earmarked £250,000 towards the scheme.

The committee also agreed to allocate funding towards improving junctions on major routes into the Bradford district to reduce journey times.

Roads earmarked for this work are the A6177 Outer Ring Road Toller Lane; the A6177 Thornton Road; the A6177/A647 Leeds Road Shipley Airedale and the A1677 Outer Ring Road/Great Horton Road.

Bradford Council leader Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, who chairs of the West Yorkshire Investment Committee, has welcomed proposals moving forward.

She said:  "This is good news for Bradford. As the country’s youngest city, Bradford is going to need significant investment in transport infrastructure.  This decision represents a step on the way to delivering some improvement.  I will continue to push for funding that will make our district a better place to live in and easier to travel around."

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council's executive member for regeneration, said: "With a new Forster Square station including new lifts up to Manor Row and quicker bus travel on the district's major gateways these will all improve footfall, making things easier for local people and visitors as well as providing a boost for the district's economy."

West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Chair Coun Keith Wakefield, said: “The Combined Authority established the £1bn West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund, through the City Region Growth Deal, to invest in transport improvements that would support economic growth, the creation of new, good quality jobs and the development of new and affordable housing.

“The Forster Square Station scheme is an important project that will improve transport facilities and the journey experience for people travelling to and from Bradford and create a new, welcoming gateway to the city for tourists and commuters.”

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