Construction is due to start later this year on a £24m White Rose station that lies 800m along the track from the existing Cottingley stop, with local authorities saying it will be more accessible to a greater number of passengers.
Alongside the new station, the White Rose scheme also includes better walking and cycling routes to Cottingley, Churwell and Millshaw, as well as the White Rose Shopping Centre and the bus interchange.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which is working alongside Leeds City Council and Munroe K on the scheme, says the closure of Cottingley is necessary as the proximity of the two stations means it will not be possible to maintain the same level of service at both locations.
Now it has begun a 12-week consultation to see the views of the public on what is being proposed.
Tracy Brabin Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: "Building the future we want with a transport system fit for the 21st century is absolutely vital.
"Schemes such as the new White Rose Rail Station will connect more people with job, training and education opportunities, while also helping us tackle the climate emergency on our way to becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038."
Her views were echoed by Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe, the Combined Authority's transport portfolio holder.
"A fully accessible rail station at White Rose will bring new opportunities for people in Cottingley, Churwell, Millshaw and Morley, improving transport links and acting as a catalyst for local regeneration, including housing and job growth," she said.
"During the next 12 weeks, we will be doing everything we can to engage with local communities on the future of Cottingley Rail Station and I would encourage people to make sure their voices are heard by taking part in this consultation."
According to The Office of Rail and Roads station usage data for 2018/19, Cottingley is the least used station in Leeds.
There are two options being put forward in the consultation, the first being to replace the existing station at Cottingley with a new station at White Rose. This option is preferred because of the low numbers of people using the station and its lack of step-free access.
The second option is constructing the new station at White Rose and keeping Cottingley open. This option would mean Cottingley having a very infrequent service and the Combined Authority says it could also weaken the funding case for new walking and cycling routes as part of the White Rose Rail Station development.
If the consultation results in the decision that Cottingley station should be closed, then it is expected that it would be shut between late 2022 and spring 2023.
Coun Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council's executive board member for infrastructure and climate, said: "Although the plans to build a new White Rose Rail station will undoubtedly bring benefits and opportunities for the surrounding communities and beyond, it will have an impact on the existing station at Cottingley.
"We know Cottingley station is underused, however people still use it, so it’s crucial that the new White Rose station is accessible for rail users. I would urge local communities to get involved in the forthcoming consultation on the future of the rail station to make sure your voice is heard."
The proposals are being displayed at the White Rose Office Park Planning Cabin and a series of public webinars and drop-in events are planned, subject to Covid-19 restrictions.
Visit www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/Cottingley for more details and to have your say. Hard copies of the materials can be provided free of charge by calling 0113 245 7676 (MetroLine), via [email protected] or Freepost CONSULTATION TEAM (WYCA).
All representations should be returned using the website, email or postal details above by midnight on Monday October 4.
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