What is Northern Powerhouse Rail?

Northern Powerhouse Rail is the proposed new rail network connecting the major towns and cities across the north. Sometimes referred to as HS3 or Crossrail for the North, this proposed route aims to improve journey times across the country, better connect people to other modes of transport including port, rail, road and air and support economic growth across the Northern Powerhouse.

What is Next Stop Bradford?

Next Stop Bradford is the regionally led campaign with national support to secure a Northern Powerhouse Rail station in Bradford city centre.

The campaign aims to demonstrate the benefits a Northern Powerhouse Rail station in Bradford city centre would bring to the whole country as well as to the district of Bradford.

Launched in March 2017, the campaign is led by Bradford Council and supported by senior business, community and political leaders from across the north.

Government Ministers and officials at Transport for the North are currently exploring all options for the Northern Powerhouse Rail network. A decision on the route is expected by the end of 2018.

Why are we campaigning for this investment?

Our Current Transport Links

  • A train from Bradford to Manchester takes around one hour, and averages only 42mph.
  • A train from Bradford Interchange to Leeds takes over 20 minutes, averaging only 33mph.
  • With a city centre NPR station, Bradford would be only seven minutes from Leeds, and twenty from Manchester bringing with it vast economic opportunities.
  • 45,000 people commute between Bradford and Leeds each day, the largest flow between any two cities in the UK. However, 74% of these commuters travel by car.
  • 38% of job seekers cite poor transport connectivity as a barrier to attending an interview or getting a job.

Our Economic Potential

  • Bradford District’s population is 531,200 and growing.
  • Bradford’s working age population is predicted to grow by 24,000 by 2024
  • Bradford’s £9.5 billion economy is the fifth largest in the Northern Powerhouse, and home to market leading companies such as Yorkshire Building Society, Santander, Provident Financial, Morrisons and Hallmark cards.
  • Bradford is home to over 17,000 businesses with a powerful culture of entrepreneurship.
  • Bradford University jumped 20 places in 2017’s Guardian University rankings, now sitting in 52nd

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Northern Powerhouse?

A. The Northern Powerhouse is a shared ambition to bring together the cities, towns and rural communities of the North of England to become a vibrant and growing economy. It aims to build on existing strengths and future potential; attracting and retaining the brightest and best talent and acting as a magnet for inward investment and competitiveness.

Q. Is this the same as HS3?

A. The proposed investment in connectivity crossing East to West of the north is sometimes referred to as HS3 or Crossrail for the North as well as Northern Powerhouse Rail.

Q. Who makes the final decision about which towns and cities get a station?

A. Transport for the North are leading this activity and are expected to make their recommendations regarding station locations and investment by the end of 2018. However, the government’s Department for Transport will be very influential in the decision-making process.

Q. End of 2018 seems quite far away, what is happening in this time?

A. Transport for the North are busy working on the economic case for the Northern Powerhouse Rail network.  This is a detailed and thorough piece of work looking at the full network East – West of the Northern Powerhouse and will take time. Bradford Council and supporters of Next Stop Bradford are working hard to build the economic and social evidence to support a city centre station and will continue to share this information with Transport for the North during this time period.

Q. What benefits will this bring to the local economy?

A. Initial research suggests a Bradford city centre station will bring an annual boost of at least £1.3bn.

It would also provide faster, more frequent trains for passengers travelling to and from the city.

With faster journey times and more trains coming into and leaving the city, local people will have greater opportunities to access jobs and new markets across the north.

With enhanced connections, Bradford will continue to grow as an attractive investment location.

Q. What about investment in other modes of transport such as bus and road infrastructure?

A. It is crucial that investment in a Northern Powerhouse Rail station in Bradford city centre goes hand-in-hand with investment in other transport modes including bus, road, rail and air. We are working with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to deliver the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund, a £1bn fund to deliver better connectivity across the region.

We have already seen the impact of this investment through the openings of Apperley Bridge and Low Moor railway stations. Northern Powerhouse Rail will be a continuation of investment in our transport infrastructure to better connect Bradford to local, regional and national opportunities.

Q. Where will the station be located if the investment is secured for Bradford?

A. The exact location for a Northern Powerhouse Rail station is still to be determined. However, supporters of Next Stop Bradford are calling for the investment to be made in the city centre where the benefits will be felt by the greatest number of people.

Q. How can we influence the decision-making process?

A. There are a number of ways you can help influence the decision-making process and ensure your voice is heard. The Next Stop Bradford campaign will act as a mouthpiece for supporters of this investment in the city centre and aims to engage local people and businesses to demonstrate local enthusiasm and demand.

To pledge your support, head over to the pledge page. By signing your name and leaving a message of support you can help Bradford’s voice be heard.

Please also join the conversation on social media to raise awareness of the campaign. If you are on social media and interested in sharing your thoughts, please include @nxtstopbradford or hashtag #NextStopBradford

You can also get in touch with us over on the Contact us page. Here you can send us your questions and find out about local events and campaign activity you can support.