MORE THAN £1m is being spent in West and South Yorkshire to draw up transport plans to capitalise on the arrival of high speed rail.
The two areas have been given the cash by the Government to help get ready for the HS2 line connecting London and the North which is due to be completed in Yorkshire by 2033.
The West Yorkshire and Sheffield City Region combined authorities have each received £625,000 to plan how HS2 can integrate with local transport services and emerging proposals for trans-Pennine high speed services known as Northern Powerhouse Rail.
Coun Keith Wakefield, West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s transport chairman, said: “The initial £625,000 allocated to Leeds City Region is being used to fund a range of activities including looking at how we can develop local and regional connectivity.
“This includes merging HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, which we want to see providing much-needed improvements to links between Leeds, Bradford, York and Manchester, and existing but electrified rail routes at a Yorkshire transport hub.
“Other projects being funded include maximising the regional supply chain opportunities HS2 presents, ensuring people take advantage of the scheme’s employment opportunities and an infrastructure plan for Leeds South Bank.
“The final strategy is due in autumn 2017 and there is potentially more funding to follow, subject to performance.”
Under current plans the second phase of the HS2 line will run between Birmingham and Leeds with a stop in Sheffield.
The line was originally due to serve a new station on Leeds’s South Bank, provisionally known as New Lane.
However, that proposal has now been scrapped and HS2 will be incorporated into a remodelled version of the existing Leeds Station to make it easier to connect with other services.