Leeds: MP calls for end to railway station ‘limbo’

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A Leeds MP is pushing senior ministers to bring the city out of “limbo” – and make a decision about including a new railway station in the heart of a multi-million pound redevelopment.

Rachel Reeves, MP for Leeds West, secured a debate in Parliament about the future of the transport hub at Kirkstall Forge.

The station would be part of the wider redevelopment of the Kirkstall Forge industrial site. However, its future has been uncertain because of wider Government spending cuts.

Ms Reeves will use today’s debate as a chance to press the Department for Transport on a decision.

“The Department for Transport needs to make it clear where we stand, and whether it will back this scheme,” Ms Reeves said.

“We’ve been left in limbo for months now – people in Kirkstall will rightly want to know what the future holds for the forge.”

“The development of the forge site is really important for the future of our area,” she added.

“The promise of jobs and homes is a great opportunity, and better, sustainable travel into Leeds city centre is vital too.

“I will be highlighting the benefits of the plans, their widespread support in the local community and the significant private capital that has gone into the station.”

Ms Reeves previously spearheaded a petition to support the inclusion of a railway station at the site. The new station was originally promised by 2012, but was put on hold in the wake of the economic downturn.

Kirkstall Forge has been earmarked for regeneration since closing in 2002. Developers Commercial Estates Group bought the site for £8 million and have promised to contribute around £5 million in Section 106 money to help pay for the £18 million station. A decision is expected by the end of the year.