Work on Leeds station entrance scheme is flowing nicely

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It may not look much at the moment but, rest assured, there is plenty going on beneath the surface.

Work is continuing on a £17.3m scheme to provide Leeds City Station with a new state-of-the-art southern entrance.

Due for completion in spring next year, the scheme will deliver fully-covered pedestrian access to the station via an extension over the River Aire at Little Neville Street.

As a result, much of the work to date has taken place underwater, with the foundations of the new structure being laid down in the river.

Pontoons are also being used to ferry materials and equipment in from a satellite site at Water Lane.

Work on the project has at times been slowed by the great British weather, with strong winds stopping a tower crane being pressed into service.

Other headaches have included high water levels and debris buried in the river bed.

Today, however, a spokesman for the recently-formed West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which includes what was Metro, the county’s passenger transport authority, said: “Work is progressing well and the river bed is now being prepared ready for the next stage of the project and over the next couple of months people will start to see the structure rising from the river.”

There is currently no direct way to reach the station from the south, forcing people walking in from thriving employment areas such as Holbeck urban village to use the Dark Arches to reach its existing entrances off City Square.

Backed by £12.4m of Government funding, the scheme is a collaboration between Network Rail and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

The idea of opening up the station’s southern side pre-dates British Rail’s privatisation in the 1990s.

Members of the reformed writing club Savage, pictured at Temple Works (Temple Mill), on Marshall Street, Holbeck, Leeds. Pictured (left to right) Robert St-John Smith, Peter Etherington, Heather Lloyd, Phil Kirby, Maria Protopapadaki-Smith (correct), Ivor Tymchak and Jamie Newman.

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