£161m upgrade at Leeds Station completed


A £161m package of upgrades for Leeds Station - the largest set of works on the site for 20 years - has been completed, helping create a 'modern, fully connected transport hub' ministers said.

Between Saturday 25 December and Monday 3 January, more than 200 railway staff remodelled the track layout between platforms 4 and 6, extended platform 7 and renewed over 700 metres of track and overhead line equipment.

The works also delivered a new Platform 0 and concourse, ensuring passengers experience a more modern station with improved connections, longer trains and more seats and services.

The works follow the Government's announcement, contained within its Integrated Rail Plan, that the eastern leg of HS2 will now stop at East Midlands Parkway instead of Leeds.

The decision was roundly condemned by regional leaders and industry experts. James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council, said it was 'not the first time our city has been promised major infrastructure investment, only for it to be curtailed or cancelled'.

'It is 10 years this month since the Transpennine Route upgrade was announced, yet we are still waiting for the fully-defined scheme, and it is 30 years since the idea of a supertram was first mentioned.'

As part of efforts to win back support in the area, rail minister Wendy Morton visited Leeds Station following the recent works and met with staff responsible for delivering the upgrades to the Transpennine Route.

Ms Morton said: 'Leeds station is a major hub right at the heart of the North, not only a gateway to one of the UK’s most vibrant and lively cities but a vital transport link enabling people from all over the country to travel for work, pleasure and connect with friends and family.

'These upgrades are a huge milestone making these journeys even easier, providing passengers with more seats, more services and more punctual journeys all while building upon our unprecedented Integrated Rail Plan – delivering a modern, fully connected transport hub fit for the future quicker than under previous plans.'

The Government has also pledged full electrification from Leeds to York, and of the Calder Valley line between Bradford and Leeds, cutting journey times to 12 minutes.

Ministers plan to see services from Manchester from Leeds take 33 minutes, a saving of 22 minutes compared to today.

The Integrated Rail Plan also pledged development funding for the West Yorkshire Mass Transit System and '£100m of development funding focused on determining the best way to bring HS2 services to Leeds'.

However, critics pointed out that the Integrated Rail Plan itself was supposed to outline how HS2 would be connected with wider services in Leeds and instead cut HS2 from the city.

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