Employment hub and transport proposals up for discussion

Updated proposals for a new employment hub, railway station and park-and-ride facilities are set to be considered by Leeds City Council in the new year. A report will be considered at a meeting of the council's executive board on 7 January 2020 setting out the position regarding potential improvements to transport connectivity in the north west of the city. It will also detail options for creating alternative sustainable public transport for commuting into Leeds from the north of the city, and links from the proposed new rail halt to Leeds Bradford Airport and a new North West Leeds Employment Hub.

Leeds City Council, working with West Yorkshire Combined Authority and partners including the airport, had previously put forward plans for three possible road improvement options. Option A and B would create a new link road from the A65 to the A658 while a third option C would involve improvements to the existing A65 and A658. A new parkway rail station has also been proposed for the Leeds to Harrogate line, with a short connecting spur road to give access to the airport.

The station would include new park-and-ride services to Leeds and Harrogate with 350 parking spaces and a bus interchange. Public consultation was carried out on three road options in 2015 and the road and rail options earlier this year. This found support for the parkway station but no clear backing for any of the road options.

The new plans is for further engagement and feasibility work to be carried out on the parkway station and spur road proposal, along with a connecting road from the A658 to access the new North West Leeds Employment Hub on land adjacent to the airport. The previous options for either of the link road options or improving the A65/A658 would not be developed any further. Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council executive board member for climate change, transport and sustainable development, said: "The council takes consultation with the public very seriously and we have taken on board the feedback we have received about the previous road proposals, and the support for the rail halt.

"We have asked people including local residents and stakeholders twice about the road proposals and the lack of clear support for any of the options has been consistent so it is only right that we have listened and are responding to what people are telling us they do want.

That is why we are taking forward proposals for a parkway station, investing in sustainable public transport infrastructure.

"This will help to take cars off the roads travelling into the city centre from the north of the city and provide public transport links to the existing airport facility and the new North West Leeds Employment Hub to support the demand for new jobs in that part of the city."

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