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Bradford Councillors to discuss big plans
Major transport schemes for the district which could be funded through a new £1billion West Yorkshire transport fund are to be discussed.
The schemes include a rail link from the city centre to Leeds- Bradford Airport, improvements to the city’s two railway stations and moves to cut congestion on Tong Street, along the Shipley-Bradford corridor and in Keighley town centre.
Details of the investment scheme will be discussed by Bradford Council’s executive next week. Members will be asked to approve the further development of the plan to deliver transport improvements over a decade.
Leaders of the five West Yorkshire councils have joined with York to push ahead with the regional fund which could help create between 25,000 and 30,000 new jobs. The aim is to develop a fully-integrated transport system for West Yorkshire, generate increased investment and create more jobs for the region, regardless of local authority boundaries.
At the moment around 60 initial schemes have been identified at a total cost of around £4billion, so work is underway to test them and consider their impact in terms of value.
The results of this testing – taking into account the costs of each scheme, level of outside contributions required, and potential revenue returns – will be reported back to leaders later this year. It is then expected that final approval of the fund would take place in spring 2013.
Funding for the programme is likely to come through an increase in the locally-raised transport levy, top-slicing the Local Transport Plan and Department for Transport local major scheme funding. Other potential sources of funding include the community infrastructure levy, section 106 planning agreements, the European Regional Development Fund and local business rates, although these have not been included as confirmed contributors, the report to the executive states.
Possible Bradford schemes also include:
* a South Bradford Link Road
* Bradford to Huddersfield A641 corridor improvements
* an upgrade to the Caldervale railway line
* improvements to Hard Ings Road in Keighley
* bus frequency increases and fare reductions
* a regional railway station parking package.
Councillor Val Slater, the Council’s executive member for housing, planning and transport, said: “Significant work has already been undertaken on the plan. All the authorities involved now need to commit to the next stages.
“The development of an integrated and progressive transport system for the region is the key to increasing economic prosperity and sustainability.
“There will also be benefits of faster journeys, decongestion and improved air quality.”
Early discussions over the £1bn West Yorkshire-wide transport fund were exclusively revealed in the Telegraph & Argus just over a year ago. It was confirmed in July that leaders intended to put in place the transport investment fund.