YEP Says, July 8: Is Leeds Bradford Airport plan a boost for the region - or a flight of fancy?

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is yeadon Aerodrome, built in 1938 when Britain was shoring up its defences in readiness for war, still the best location for an international airport serving Yorkshire and further afield? It’s a fundament question Leeds City Council – and others – need to answer before deciding to release 36.2 hectares of land to facilitate a massive expansion plan.

Is Yeadon Aerodrome, built in 1938 when Britain was shoring up its defences in readiness for war, still the best location for an international airport serving Yorkshire and further afield? It’s a fundament question Leeds City Council – and others – need to answer before deciding to release 36.2 hectares of land to facilitate a massive expansion plan.

Like it or not, Leeds Bradford International Airport continues to polarise opinion in spite of the improvements that have already taken place. Its geographical location, more than 200 metres above sea level, means it is the most elevated in England and therefore the most vulnerable in England. It continues to be inadequately served by inadequate transport links and concerns persist about poor service – not least parking charges and the length of time it takes to get from the terminal to the actual aircraft. The airport is already buckling under the strain – and that’s why Keith Wakefield, the former leader of Leeds City Council, is among those to have explored the feasibility of a new Yorkshire airport built at a more advantageous location and in tandem with HS2 high-speed rail. If the council decides Yeadon is still the best location, it should be duty-bound to provide local residents and businesses with a guarantee that any improvements will be preceded by the already long-overdue improvements to the area’s transport infrastructure.

Recovery back on track George?

Whatever you make of yesterday’s budget and George Osborne’s performance the key test in Yorkshire will be whether he advances his Northern Powerhouse agenda. The Government has now lost the political initiative after postponing several rail improvement schemes in Yorkshire - David Cameron came under sustained pressure on this at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday. His statement that “we will be pressing ahead with this investment” was greeted by jeers. It falls to Mr Osborne to eradicate the deficit, overhaul welfare and get the North’s transport infrastructure back on track. If he achieves all three, this Budget will be viewed as a success.

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