West Yorkshire mass transit system: Three companies to receive around £25m to draw up plans

Three companies will be paid around £25m to help draw up plans for West Yorkshire’s long-awaited mass transit system.

By Nathan Hyde
Monday, 14th March 2022, 4:45 am

West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) has hired Turner & Townsend Project Management and engineering consultancy firms Jacobs and Mott MacDonald to work on the business case.

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The proposal is due to be submitted to the Department of Transport before the end of the year, with WYCA planning to spend almost £200m on “development and initial delivery” over the next five years.

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How the mass transit system might look, according to West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

However, it has not finalised the route for the scheme, which is expected to cost more than £2bn and be fully operational in 2040.

It is also yet to decide whether tram-trains or prioritised routes of electric buses will be used.

The authority is currently exploring plans for a network, consisting of nine lines, that links towns and cities across West Yorkshire, including Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield and Wakefield.

The Government reaffirmed its commitment to the project, in its Integrated Rail Plan, and said the first services will be “operational in the second half of this decade”.

The plan added: "We will start work on the new West Yorkshire Mass Transit System and support West Yorkshire Combined Authority over the long term to ensure that this time, it gets done.

"That commitment begins now with more than £200m of immediate funding to plan the Mass Transit System and start building it."

WYCA has said the aim is to make the county's transport system easier to use and understand.

The organisation is also looking to employ a director to run the project and additional staff to join its “small in-house programme team”.

In a report, it added: "At this point, decisions around the final mode, for example, bus rapid transit, light rail and very light rail, and the precise route have yet to be made.

"These factors will significantly impact on the costings for the scheme. Information around costing will be developed as part of future business case stages and will be made available for future public engagements."

Almost 30 years and £72m of taxpayers’ money were spent on these failed schemes.

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