More rail stations needed to revert Beeching cuts in Leeds inner city areas

Kirkstall Forge rail station. PIC: Tony Johnson
Kirkstall Forge rail station. PIC: Tony Johnson
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A Leeds city councillor has called for more railway stations in inner-city areas.

Leeds City Council’s infrastructure committee met to discuss a report into the authority’s long term transport plans.

Over the last few years, stations have opened in Kirkstall Forge and Apperley Bridge, with plans now in place to open new rail stops at the White Rose Centre and Thorp Arch.

But Coun Ron Grahame (Lab) thinks a lack of railway stations in areas such as Halton Moor is unfair on  those communities. Referring to community rail station closures in the 1960s and 1970s following a  report into railways by Dr Richard Beeching, Coun Grahame said: “I’ll never forgive Beeching because I used to use them to get to work.

“Why are we being discriminated against – to stop at Garforth and Crossgates and go straight past us. We should be able to get to Scarborough to get the kids to the seaside.

“There is something radically wrong there.”

A council officer agreed more needed to be done to get people on trains, adding: “We have a very different railway now to what we had in the 1970s. There is a lot of pressure on the network and difficult decisions need to be made. We do need more people to be able to access and use public transport.”

Grahame responded by suggesting small, low-maintenance stations could be opened in areas east of the city centre. He said: “You don’t need people managing the station, just have a stop.”