Future plans for high-speed rail in West Yorkshire to be published ‘soon’, insists Minister of Railways

The integrated rail plan – which is expected to include detailed information on the future of the North-South HS2 and East-West Northern Powerhouse Rail projects – was originally planned last year, but was delayed after local elections due to the rules of the purdah.

Railways Minister Andrew Stephenson, who was visiting Leeds station to open its new zero platform, stopped before setting a timetable for the plan’s release.

It follows an announcement government this week that it would inject £ 400million into the country’s rail network, as well as contribute to the planned White Rose Center and Thorpe Park stations.

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Andrew Stephenson visiting Leeds station earlier today.

Andrew Stephenson visiting Leeds station earlier today.

Mr. Stephenson said: “The North has been deprived of investment for many years. Today’s announcement will be the first step in a number of truly positive announcements for the region.

“Today’s announcement is just a down payment before our integrated rail plan, in which we will present our ambitious plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail, the modernization of the Transpennine route and the high-speed train in the northern England.

“We hope to announce the rail decarbonisation plan soon, and the integrated transport plan will come very soon after.

“I sincerely hope that it will be published without delay. We hope that the rail decarbonisation plan will be launched first, so hopefully it will be sooner, but the integrated rail plan will certainly follow. I want to make sure that Yorkshire communities have that certainty as to when the investments are going to arrive. “

The integrated rail plan was put into operation in February 2020 when the Prime Minister announced that the HS2 would go ahead.

The review was put in place to decide how best to carry out Phase 2b of the project alongside NPR and projects such as the upgrade of the Transpennine Highway connecting Leeds, Manchester and York.

But it will also look at how best to cut costs, raising concerns that the Leeds section of HS2 or a high-speed rail station in Bradford could be delayed or downgraded.

On plans for the Northern Powerhouse Rail, Mr Stephenson said he wanted Bradford to be ‘included’ but once again stopped before confirming whether that would mean a station for the city center.

He added: “Bradford is really important to Northern Powerhouse Rail and to the regional economy. I have spoken to the leaders of the North about the importance of Bradford and the need to ensure that Bradford is included in our plans.

“I can’t prejudge the integrated rail plan, but the people of the area recognize the importance of Bradford and I want to make sure we deliver for Bradford.”

When asked if the eastern section of HS2 would extend to Leeds, he said: ‘We are keen to ensure that Yorkshire passengers benefit from high speed rail and do so as soon as possible.

“The railway needs assessment suggests a phased approach to delivery – this is one of the elements under consideration. I am committed to delivering high speed trains to Yorkshire. “

The investment announced today by the government includes £ 15million to help build two new stations on the outskirts of Leeds – in the center of White Rose between Morley and Cottingley; and Thorpe Park, a promenade station between Leeds and York.

Construction of the two stations will cost £ 55million, with the rest of the costs covered by the Government’s Cities Transformation Fund, Leeds’ Public Transport Investment Program and private contributions.

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