Passengers in Bradford are poised to enjoy enhanced rail experiences, courtesy of a substantial financial injection from the government.
Today in Bradford, Rail Minister Huw Merriman unveiled the city’s latest infrastructure investment, confirming a generous £24 million allocation towards the construction of a new platform at Forster Square Station. This initiative aims to alleviate delays and future-proof the station for generations to come.
The proposed platform is anticipated to alleviate congestion and enhance accessibility to the city for passengers, commuters, and tourists alike. If successfully completed, contingent on future funding decisions, it could lead to a substantial increase in LNER services, exceeding the current provision by more than triple.
Rail Minister Huw Merriman said: “Bradford is benefitting from serious investment in rail infrastructure, with £24m towards a new platform for Forster Square Station helping to improve rail journeys, increase rail services and better connect passengers.
“This investment follows £2bn for Bradford to better connect the city including with a new station and to facilitate faster rail journeys to Manchester via Huddersfield as part of our Network North plan, with further funding recently announced to help with the planning work for that station – demonstrating this Government’s plan to invest in rail infrastructure in the region.”
This announcement comes as Bradford prepares to become the UK’s City of Culture in 2025, with the Rail Minister attending a meeting with local leaders and businesses today to discuss plans to deliver a new Government-funded station in the city.
The Government’s £36 billion Network North plan to improve local transport connections included £2 billion to provide a new station at Bradford and a new connection to improve journey times from the city to Manchester via Huddersfield.
The meeting follows closely on the heels of £400,000 committed to the Bradford in November to accelerate the council’s masterplans for the new station, which will see it become ‘the King’s Cross of the North’.
Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council said: “I’m really pleased we’ve been able to secure this new investment from Government. It’s good to see they now recognise the value of Bradford being better connected to the entire Northern economy. The new platform at Forster Square Station will provide much needed additional capacity and connectivity for Bradford in time for the district’s year as City of Culture in 2025 and for generations to come enabling greater mobility and access to opportunity across the district.”
Matt Rice, Route Director for Network Rail’s North & East route, said: “This funding will enable us to deliver extra platform capacity at Bradford Forster Square and allow for improved rail connections for passengers in the future. We look forward to working with the Department for Transport, Bradford Council, and other stakeholders to deliver these upgrades for people travelling to and from the city.”
The announcement comes on top of £500 million previously committed to upgrade and electrify the railway between Bradford and Leeds and a further £2.5bn Network North pledge to support the West Yorkshire Mass Transit System which will improve connections between Leeds and Bradford, Huddersfield and Halifax.
Kerry Peters, regional director for Northern, said: “We welcome this investment and the benefits it will bring to our customers across West Yorkshire. Bradford Forster Square already sees around two million passengers every year and with these developments, we look forward to many more in the coming years.”
Warrick Dent, LNER’s Safety & Operations Director, said: “LNER welcomes the news of investment in a new platform at Bradford Forster Square which will allow us to run more trains to and from the city. Our timetable plans will be announced nearer the time, and need approval by the Department for Transport, but we would expect to see a big increase in the number of LNER services. It’s particularly exciting that the changes should happen during Bradford City of Culture 2025.