A MULTI-MILLION pound transport plan drawn up following the Leeds trolleybus fiasco has been backed by the Government.
The package of improvements in the city will eventually include a rail-bus link to Leeds-Bradford Airport, new park and ride schemes and investment in bus services.
The plan was developed following the decision not to go-ahead with the long-planned Leeds trolleybus project last year.
The Government promised the city it could spend the £173m earmarked for trolleybus on alternative transport improvements although the total package drawn up is expected to cost around £270m.
Money from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the private sector is expected to help fund the improvements.
The Government announced today it agreed with the way Leeds intended to spend the trolleybus money.
Transport Minister and Harrogate MP Andrew Jones said: "New segregated bus corridors and investment in park and ride schemes will be a huge benefit to people who live and work in Leeds, and those who visit the city.
“This investment will make public transport in Leeds more accessible and reduce journey times.
“Better transport facilities don’t just help people get around, they help them get on – connecting them to jobs and helping to deliver economic growth in the north.”
Proposed improvements including bus lanes on key roads in and out of Leeds such as the A61, A58 and A660.
Park and ride schemes are planned at Stourton and in the north of the city to add to the existing site at Elland Road and another under development at Temple Green.
The money will fund further development of proposals for new railway stations at White Rose and Thorpe Park.
The single most ambitious project is the development of a parkway station on the railway line between Leeds and Harrogate.
The station would act as a park-and-ride scheme and offer onward bus connections to Leeds Bradford Airport.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority transport chairman Coun Keith Wakefield said: “These plans to build on successful developments on the county’s rail and bus networks are in line with the combined authority’s aim of developing a modern integrated transport network that benefits the whole of Leeds City Region.
"Better rail connections and more new stations linked into HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail and, based upon the popularity of Elland Road, further park and ride schemes such as the 1,000-space facility being built at Temple Green in east Leeds, will support economic growth and link people with new jobs that are being created.
“All of these developments will be designed to deliver the effective solutions that, through the recent countywide ‘Your Travel Your Say’ events and the transport conversation in Leeds, people have told us they want to see and to which West Yorkshire Combined Authority is committed.”