Professional rugby league team the Bradford Bulls have come out in support of the Next Stop Bradford campaign to secure a high-speed rail stop in Bradford city centre as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail.
Investment in better transport links is high on the agenda of the Bradford Bulls. The club support Next Stop Bradford as they understand the need for improved connectivity to enhance the economic, cultural and sporting prosperity of the city. A high-speed railway station would make Bradford a more attractive place to invest, whilst improving the ability for Bulls and opposition supporters, as well as other visitors, to travel to and from the city.
The Bradford Bulls have an eager following of supporters from around the region and regularly welcome clubs from across the country to the Odsal Stadium. Improved connectivity will help to position the Bulls as a leading rugby league team in the heart of the Northern Powerhouse.
Currently a train journey from Bradford to Leeds takes over 20 minutes and averages only 33mph, whilst Bradford to Manchester takes around an hour, averaging just 42mph. With a city centre Northern Powerhouse Rail station, Bradford would be just seven minutes from Leeds and 20 from Manchester. Connecting Bradford in this way would generate an economic boost of at least £1.3bn annually to the regional economy.
Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Transport, said:
“Northern Powerhouse Rail is about more than just the economic uplift improved connectivity will bring to the region. By making Bradford a well-connected hub at the centre of the North, we are opening the door to visitors from all over the country.
“Our high-profile sports teams fly the flag for Bradford on both a national and international scale and to hear that the Bradford Bulls have come out in support of the campaign is fantastic. Bradford is host to a range of fantastic cultural attractions in the fields of sport, theatre and the arts, and it’s important that we make it as easy as possible for people from across the country to see for themselves what our fantastic district has to offer.
“We know that a fast, efficient and well-connected transport network across the North will enable businesses to attract the skills and new market opportunities they require to thrive. It is for this reason that we continue to voice the message that the north simply cannot be successful without Bradford being successful and the time to invest is now.”
Russell Macfarlane, Bradford Bulls Operations Manager, said:
“It gives us great pleasure to support the Next Stop Bradford campaign here at the Bulls. As a hub of the community we believe we have a duty to help promote the good and the great of the city and region.
“We all know it will mean economic growth for the city, and since the opening of Low Moor station we can now offer travelling Bulls and away supporters another further option of attending matches from anywhere in the country.
“There is nothing but positivity surrounding this project and you will notice on Boxing Day the club’s social media infographics will be dedicated to the campaign, so we encourage as many supporters as possible to get involved and sign the petition.”
Hundreds of people have backed the campaign by pledging their support on the Next Stop Bradford website. All the messages of support will be shared with government and Transport for the North, the organisation currently planning the Northern Powerhouse Rail network, to demonstrate the level of demand and support for such an investment in the city centre.
All are invited to pledge support for the campaign online at www.nextstopbradford.com/pledgesupport and are encouraged to share thoughts on how a Northern Powerhouse Rail station in Bradford city centre would benefit the whole country as well as the Bradford district.