Click here to see our cookies policy
Is this OK?
Thursday 26 March 2009
West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority (ITA)councillors
from all parties are adamant that the Leeds City Region should be
part of any planned high-speed rail network for the UK.
At a meeting on Friday they backed work by Metro and its
partners to help make the case for high-speed rail routes that link
the Leeds City Region with London and Manchester, and plan to call
for a meeting with Lord Adonis once the business case documents
have been prepared.
High-speed rail could drastically cut journey times between
Leeds and London and halve the current one-hour train link with
Manchester. Recently, transport minister Lord Adonis insisted that
key cities in northern England and Scotland be included in any
plans for high-speed rail, and this week he maintained that a
high-speed trans-Pennine rail line must be built to cut journey
times between major northern cities.
The ITA members also stressed the need to set out to the City
Region's MPs the significant economic benefits that being part of a
high-seed network would bring.
"We must make sure that we are at the heart of the debate on
high-speed rail, its routes and the cities it serves," said Metro
Chairman Councillor Chris Greaves.
"I will be writing to Lord Adonis to arrange a date when we can
go and present to him not only how important a high-speed link is
to the Leeds City Region but also the contribution the Leeds City
Region can make to achieving the aims of high-speed rail."
ITA members also welcomed the recent rethink which has seen the
Government backing further electrification of UK rail lines,
including the Midland Main Line route between Bedford and
Sheffield. Metro is calling for local infill schemes, which could
provide major benefits for West Yorkshire and the Leeds City
Region, to be carried out at the same time.
The successful Leeds North West electrification scheme on the
Airedale and Wharfedale lines has already shown that such services,
coupled with new rolling stock, attract passengers to the railways
and away from cars.
Metro sees a case for the electrification of other local routes
such as the Harrogate line, where it could help advance the
introduction of tram-trains. Trans-Pennine journeys between York,
Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester would be significantly quicker
Councillors at Friday's ITA meeting agreed that Network Rail
should be pressed to extend electrification schemes in West
Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region.
Read the ITA report on National Rail