Responding to the launch of Transport for the North’s draft Strategic Transport Plan, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, West Yorkshire Combined Authority chair and Bradford Council leader, said:

“This document is a significant step forward in turning our shared ambition to transform transport connections across the North of England into reality.  It will help us unlock the region’s full economic potential for the benefit of all our communities, including the development of the Northern Powerhouse Rail network.

“We are particularly pleased to see the plan accepts the case for a Northern Powerhouse line from Manchester to Leeds and York via a stop in Bradford and look forward to working with TfN to develop those proposals further.”

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council leader, West Yorkshire Combined Authority member and TfN Partnership Board representative, said:

“This new 30-year plan represents an ambitious but deliverable vision for a transformational improvement to our transport network and connectivity both across the north and also with the rest of the country. It is a vitally-needed level of investment to not only help realise the economic potential of the north but would also boost and be part of the process of rebalancing the national economy too.

“Most importantly it would benefit the lives, prospects and opportunities for millions of people living in the Leeds City Region and the wider north as a whole, so we encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation and tell us what they think.”

Councillor Alex Ross- Shaw, Portfolio holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport at Bradford Council and spokesperson for the Next Stop Bradford campaign, said:

“The launch of the Strategic Transport Plan is a milestone in the campaign to bring a Northern Powerhouse Rail station to Bradford city centre. We welcome the proposal in the plan to develop a new line from Manchester to Leeds and York via Bradford, in addition to the transpennine upgrade via Huddersfield, and are pleased to see Transport for the North acknowledging the huge contribution Bradford has to offer and gain from being part of the NPR network.

“As the report highlights, Northern Powerhouse Rail has the potential to change the way people look for work, where people live, and how businesses collaborate. An NPR station in Bradford city centre would enable us to combine the benefits of Bradford and Leeds to unlock employment opportunities for millions of people across the north, increase transport capacity and enhance the speed and frequency of travel around the region.

“The plan is now open for consultation to the public and we would encourage local residents and businesses to support the case for a Bradford city centre station and the Next Stop Bradford campaign.

“We look forward to continuing our work with TfN and making the economic case for the benefit of the Bradford District and the whole City Region.”