New Leeds train station smashes its annual target in just five months

Local MP Stuart Andrew, Leeds City Council leader Coun Judith Blake and CEG's Jon Kenny at the opening of the station.

Local MP Stuart Andrew, Leeds City Council leader Coun Judith Blake and CEG's Jon Kenny at the opening of the station.

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A new Leeds railway station is proving just the ticket for people keen to avoid the city’s traffic-choked roads.

Transport bosses originally forecast that a total of 20,200 journeys would be made between Kirkstall Forge station and Leeds in the year following its opening last June.

But now it has emerged that 21,400 journeys were in fact made over a period of five months after the opening.

The station was a joint project between the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), Leeds City Council, Network Rail, Northern Rail and the Commercial Estates Group (CEG) developer.

And today the impressive passenger figures were hailed as a sign that public transport in the city is heading in the right direction.

WYCA deputy transport chair Coun Eric Firth told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “This amazing level of use proves the point that if we provide people with high-quality transport facilities people will use them, which proved also the case with the Elland Road park and ride which proved so popular we had to double the size of the parking area.

“Over the last 18 months, we have opened another new station at Apperley Bridge as well as the impressive Leeds Station southern entrance and in a matter of weeks, we will be opening a third new station at Low Moor between Bradford and Halifax.

“These attractive, integrated transport facilities link individuals and businesses with opportunities and underpin sustainable economic growth and opportunities to create new jobs across the Leeds city region.”

Today’s figures come less than a week after fresh details were revealed about plans for a major overhaul of Leeds Station designed to deliver a “world-class gateway” for visitors to the city.

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