HS2 station plans on track for overhaul

Transport Minister Andrew Jones
Transport Minister Andrew Jones
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A TRANSPORT Minister has given the strongest hint yet that major changes to plans for a high speed rail station in Leeds are in the pipeline.

Under current plans, the HS2 high speed rail line is due to serve a new station near Asda’s headquarters with passengers having to walk to the existing station to connect with local services.

But earlier this year, Chancellor George Osborne asked HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins to review the plans for Leeds and it is understood the work has focused on having a single rail station for the city or to bring the two much closer together.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said he was hoping to see improved connections between HS2 and existing services in the revised plans for Leeds.

He told the YEP: “We’ve got the Higgins report to come through but I think the key point is that we want connectivity.

“We should be looking at HS2 as motorways for trains and the HS2 stations should be hubs and we want spokes going into them.

“So integration with the classic network has to be part of the answer.

“We are waiting for the report but that is what I am hoping to see in it.”

Mr Jones was speaking during a day touring the rail network seeing where improvements are needed and already underway, including the new south entrance to Leeds station which he described as “transformational”.

“As we get an access into the south side of it the whole of that Holbeck area will open up.

“The centre of gravity of the city has already moved away from the Headrow down towards this part of town partly because of the connectivity of this part of town and I expect that pace to accelerate significantly when this fantastic project opens later this year,” he said.

The Higgins review of the Leeds station plans is expected to be published in the autumn.