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Leeds Station southern entrance plans approved

Leeds Station - new entrance exterior 3.A project to improve access for thousands of rail passengers at Leeds station have been passed by city planners.

And Programme Entry Status was also granted for £13.5m funding from the Department for Transport by Transport Minister Sadiq Khan.

Metro and Network Rail are developing the scheme for a new southern pedestrian entrance which will allow people to get in and out of the station from both sides of the river Aire around Granary Wharf.

The cost of developing the new entrance has been met by Network Rail and Metro. The Department for Transport will fund up to 90% of the scheme, with the remainder funded locally.

The new entrance has been carefully designed using a curved design, minimising its size, while remaining modern, accessible and attractive.

Open in 2012

"Leeds station is at the heart of the city and the city region," said Metro Chairman Cllr Ryk Downes.

"The new entrance will tie in with the existing walkway, escalators and lifts at the western end of the station, and create a faster, step-free route to the vibrant areas to the south of the city centre such as Holbeck Urban Village, Bridgewater Place, the riverside and canal basin.

"Together with proposed new stations at Kirkstall Forge, Apperley Bridge and Low Moor, this is a significant investment in local rail travel and the local economy."

Richard Lungmuss, route director for Network Rail, said: "More than 100,000 people come through Leeds station on a normal weekday and the number of passengers is steadily increasing. This new entrance will not only improve access for those coming into the station from the south but will also help us to manage future demand.

"This is a vital decision for passengers who use the station and a first step for our exciting plans for the station which will continue to improve facilities and services."

Take a video tour showing how the new entrance could look

Providing passengers with access to the current western footbridge within the station from ground level either side of the River Aire, the proposed new entrance incorporates lifts, escalators and stairs. The proposals also include CCTV, help points, ticket machines and passenger information screens.

"The new southern entrance to the station will create a faster, accessible route to the vibrant areas to the south of the city centre such as Holbeck Urban Village, Bridgewater Place, the riverside and canal basin," said Cllr Andrew Carter, Joint Leader of Leeds City Council..

Transport Minister Sadiq Khan said, "This new entrance is an important part of ensuring that transport in Leeds meets the needs of passengers. It will help provide easy access to the station and help support the creation of new jobs."

"I said when we started the public consultations that Leeds Station is at the heart of the city and the city region," added Cllr Downes, "and feedback from people who use the station - and who live or work in the area - has been almost wholly in favour."

The Business Case submission followed on from the public consultation held at the station in August 2009, in which over 96% of respondents supported the scheme. The scheme also has the support of Network Rail, which owns the station, and major local train operator, Northern, which manages the station on Network Rail's behalf.

It is expected that 20% of the 100,000 passengers using the station every day would use the new entrance, cutting journey times for passengers south of the River Aire and relieving pressure on the existing northern entrance.

June 2010: Frustration at major projects delay

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