Government to unveil plans for new Bradford railway station

There was outrage among northern leaders when the Northern Powerhouse Rail plan was scaled back. Credit: ITV News

The government says plans for a potential new railway station in Bradford will be unveiled next week.

Rail minister Huw Merriman told MPs initial proposals for a station would be published as part of a response to a report by the Transport Select Committee on the government's Integrated Rail Plan (IRP).

The IRP, published in November 2021, sparked outrage among northern leaders as it involved downgrading Northern Powerhouse Rail – a proposed new high-speed rail link connecting northern cities.

There were hopes that Bradford would be a station on a new line between Leeds and Manchester, but the IRP said the route would mainly involve improvements to existing infrastructure.

Mr Merriman told the committee: "We remain committed to the core parts of the Integrated Rail Plan, effectively the entire Integrated Rail Plan.

"Where we've been looking, following the comments made by the Prime Minister during last summer, was getting better options assessed for Bradford and enabling Bradford to put forward a new station to help them with their city centre regeneration.

"That's something that we're very keen to do, which will obviously mean alterations to the Integrated Rail Plan were we to do that, but I believe that will be a positive.

"We've been working very positively with the Treasury and also the Department for Levelling Up with regards to Bradford so I think that's an area where I very much hope that our response will be welcomed by the committee.

"I can assure you that we remain on track to get that to you by the end of this month, so by next week."

During a Conservative Party leadership debate in July 2022, Rishi Sunak said "an unequivocal massive yes" when asked if he was committed to "levelling up" northern England.

In an interview with ITV News in October 2022, then Prime Minister Liz Truss said Bradford would get a new station as part of Norther Powerhouse rail plans.

However, in his autumn budget chancellor Jeremy Hunt only pledged to deliver the "core" plan for a high-speed rail line across the north of England – without recommitting to building a new station in Bradford.

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