GREEN LIGHT: White Rose rail station decision due next week
The latest plans for a £24m rail station at the White Rose Centre could be given the green light by regional transport chiefs as early as next week.
Members of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) Transport Committee will be asked to progress plans for the new rail station, between Morley and Cotttingley on the Transpennine route, at its next meeting.
However, It could spell the end for nearby Cottingley Rail Station, as a report into the scheme said it is unlikely both stations can be “fully sustained”, due to their close proximity to one another.
The proposals for the White Rose station – sitting next to the site of White Rose Office Park – also include better walking and cycling routes between the station and Cottingley, Churwell and Millshaw, as well as the White Rose Shopping Centre and the bus interchange.
The scheme, which is being developed jointly by WYCA, Leeds City Council, Munroe K and Network Rail, will receive £5m from the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme (LPTIP) and up to £12m from the Leeds City Region Transforming Cities Fund – as well as contributions from Munroe K.
The committee will also consider plans for a new £31m parkway rail station at Thorpe Park on the Leeds to York section of the Transpennine route.
Middleton councillor Kim Groves, who is chairwoman of the WYCA’s Transport Committee, said: “A new rail station at White Rose will bring new opportunities for people in Cottingley, Churwell, Millshaw and Morley.
“Building the future we want with a transport system fit for the 21st century is absolutely vital, not only as we look to pave a way forward for our region following the COVID-19 pandemic, but also in tackling the climate emergency by helping us achieve our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.”
Coun Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive member for Transport, said: “I am pleased to see the progression of the White Rose Rail Station project, which along with the proposed Thorpe Park Rail Station moving to its next stage, will form part of an improved city-wide transport system for Leeds.
“The changes when approved will improve access to the city centre for residents in surrounding neighbourhoods, visitors to Leeds and the 10,000 young people who learn in the South Bank’s schools and colleges each day.”
A report into the scheme stated: “Detailed work to understand the potential implications of this development for Cottingley Rail Station is ongoing as it is unlikely that two stations, this close together, can be fully sustained.
“Following this assessment, we will undertake additional substantial consultation with local people to understand their needs and develop a scheme that best meets their requirements.
“A range of options will also be explored to ensure people in Cottingley, and neighbouring areas have the access they need to the rail network and other transport links, including the potential for an on-demand bus service for the community.”
Work on the new station is expected to start on site in June 2021 and be completed by November 2022.
Richard Beecham, Local Democracy Reporter
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