HS2 plans for Leeds Station ‘critical’ says report

How quickly will HS2 come to Yorkshire?
How quickly will HS2 come to Yorkshire?

Plans for “critical” multi-million pound rail station improvements in Leeds are vital to ensure the station doesn’t fail in the future, a report claims.

Leeds City Council has put together blueprints on how a revamped Leeds Station would accommodate the planned north-south HS2 and east-west Northern Powerhouse high speed rail lines.

And the council’s executive board will be asked to submit a strategic outline business case (SOBC) to the government, to show how the work would be paid for.

A report going before councillors claims passenger numbers are expected to double over the next 20 years, adding investment in Leeds station was vital to meet demand.

It stated: “The SOBC details the strategic importance of the station to the nation’s economy. It sets out how Leeds Station is likely to fail without significant investment. It is critical for investment to be made into the current Station to meet forecast passenger demands – passenger numbers are due to more than double in the next 25 years from the current base of circa 30m passengers per annum.”

It also claimed the station would speed up developments around the city centre, creating 3million square feet of new development and increase the value of land around the station by around £9million a hectare.

The authority also hopes the new station would help bring 24,000 new jobs to Leeds city centre and £55bn to the city region’s economy by 2050.

It is hoped an integrated station, able to accommodate HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail as well as the existing network, would be complete by 2033.

A report by WYCA, which oversees transport and infrastructure projects in West Yorkshire, earlier this year, claimed work on the station could cost around £500m.

The decision on whether to submit the business case to the government will be made at the Leeds City Council executive meeting on Wednesday, October 17.