Leeds railway station could be ‘remodelled’ as region prepares for HS2

Leeds City Station. Picture by Mark Bickerdike.
Leeds City Station. Picture by Mark Bickerdike.
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Leeds City Station could be “remodelled” as part of plans to integrate proposed high speed rail links with the existing station, according to a new report.

In response to a document published by HS2 Ltd chairman Sir David Higgins, Leeds City Council officers have proposed a “Leeds station working group” is set up between local and Central Government and led by the council to look at how best to combine the Leeds to London HS2 line and east-west HS3 link connecting Leeds to Manchester with the established station.

A council report suggests reviewing existing plans for a separate HS2 station at New Lane, in Leeds’s South Bank, to find “an optimum station location” which it claims could see the existing route of HS2 into Leeds changed.

Among the report’s recommendations, to go before the council’s executive board tomorrow, are for officers to continue developing a masterplan for the area around the HS2 station while working with partners across the North on HS3. It also states a commitment to fight for affected residents seeking compensation over HS2.

It states: “The review of an optimum station location in Leeds could impact on the HS2’s approach to Leeds and the subsequent route alignment if a different solution is taken forward.”

The comments come after Sir David, in his October ‘Rebalancing Britain from HS2 towards a national transport strategy’ report, suggested the existing station “needs to be remodelled” over a similar timescale to HS2.

Leeds City Station is in the midst of a £17.3million regeneration that will see a new southern entrance open in Spring 2015 but the distance between that and the New Lane site has been highlighted as a “potential barrier” to an interchange, according to the council report.

Earlier this year Coun Richard Lewis, the council’s executive member for transport, told the YEP the HS2 New Lane station was not set in stone, adding “HS2 would create a real opportunity for an interchange in the city”.

Both plans for the £50billion HS2 project and £7bn HS3 links were endorsed by Prime Minister David Cameron on a visit to Leeds in October.

The proposals are intended to slash inter-city journey times. The HS2 link between Leeds and London could be complete by 2033.