Pictures show Leeds Station transformation as new roof and concourse revealed
Network Rail have today unveiled the new roof and concourse at Leeds City Railway Station as part of a £161m redevelopment project.
The scaffolding and protective hoardings that have stood for the last ten months have finally been removed, revealing a transparent new roof and opening up the concourse.
New automatic ticket gates have been repositioned in a straight line further back on the concourse, creating more space by the main departure boards.
-> Plans revealed to pedestrianise area around Corn ExchangeNetwork Rail say the new design will reduce congestion on platforms and customers are encouraged to wait on the open concourse before their platform is announced.
The work is part of a £161m redevelopment of Leeds City Station which will see a new platform zero built, improvements to the tracks and a new glass front built on New Station Street.
Councillor Peter Carlill, Leeds District Transport Chair for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said that renovating such an old station - built on a Victorian viaduct - was a huge challenge.
He said: "This is one of the busiest stations in the UK and a couple of months ago people were thrown together in what was a very unattractive environment, then thrown straight out onto the city streets.
"What we've done is created a light, spacious area where people can come through in a more relaxed environment.
"Outside there is a huge expanse of pedestrianised area where people can walk and cycle and get onto public transport easily from the station."
-> Northern Powerhouse Minister would be 'disappointed' if HS2 does not reach YorkshireThe new roof and concourse were scheduled for completion by Sunday September 22, in time for the UCI Road World Championships in Harrogate.
However, Network Rail say the work was delayed because of 'technical problems' with building the new interface into old sections of the station.
Rob McIntosh, managing director of Network Rail's Eastern region, said: "We had technical problems and bespoke bits of metal had to be made, that's what held it back.
"But it shouldn't detract from what is a phenomenal achievement from the project team, because the rail industry hasn't delivered something like this in these time frames before."
22-year-old commuter Tia, from Leeds, had travelled to Huddersfield for the day and liked the new design of the concourse.
She said: "It looks much better than it did before, it looks cleaner, bigger and more modern.
"They've taken the seats away now so there should be more space. It was drab before."