Investment call as Leeds Station numbers grow

Leeds station saw one of the fastest growths in passenger numbers last year as it handled more than 26 million people prompting fresh calls for investment to increase capacity and improve facilities.
Crowds at Leeds StationCrowds at Leeds Station
Crowds at Leeds Station

The station saw a 4.6 per cent rise in passengers, only narrowly beaten by London’s Euston station which saw an increase of 4.9 per cent.

Construction is underway on a new south entrance to Leeds station which is due to open in Spring 2015.

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But there have long been calls for improvements to the facilities at Leeds and the building’s appearance with business leaders expressing concern it does not present a positive image to visitors.

Work on a package of measures known as the Northern Hub has also begun which will increase the number of rail services on the Yorkshire network, accelerating the growth in passengers further.

Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce has run a longstanding campaign for improvements at the city’s station.

Head of policy Mark Goldstone said: “The latest data highlights the growing importance of Leeds station to the local economy however, historically investment has not kept pace with passenger growth and we find ourselves with a station which at peak times struggles to cope and certainly does not provide the ‘Welcome to Leeds’ the city would want to provide.

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“The Chamber has lobbied for improvements and in December we were delighted to host a presentation from Network Rail who came back to the city with exciting plans for redevelopment.

“There is more work to do to assemble all of the funding and we will continue to work with Network Rail, Metro, the City Council and others to help secure this essential investment.”