Mayor Tracy Brabin sets out plan for tram network connecting Leeds and Bradford

A map showing potential routes for a mass West Yorkshire tram network. Credit: West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Details of a proposed tram network connecting towns and cities across West Yorkshire have been released.

West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin said work on two lines, serving Leeds and Bradford, would begin in 2028.

She said: "By setting out our plans to submit to government, we are taking a major step forward towards the biggest infrastructure project West Yorkshire has seen since the development of the motorways six decades ago."

The proposed routes

The first phases of the project would serve Leeds and Bradford. Credit: West Yorkshire Combined Authority

The two lines serving Leeds and Bradford would take people through the cities, stopping at the following key locations:

Leeds Line

  • St James' Hospital

  • Leeds city centre

  • Elland Road

  • White Rose Shopping Centre

Bradford Line

  • Bradford Forster Square station

  • Bradford rail station

  • Leeds city centre

Leeds, which had electric trams in the first half of the 20th century, is now the largest city in western Europe without a mass transit system, such as a tram or underground rail.

Promises of a modern transport network have been repeatedly mooted in recent decades.

Previous plans for a similar network in Leeds were cancelled in 2005 due to rising costs.

In a speech to the Conservative Party Conference last October, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak referred to a £2.5 billion tram system as one of the potential beneficiaries of savings made by axing the HS2 project.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has said the network could be extended to include Dewsbury, Wakefield, Kirklees and Calderdale.

The proposals were published ahead of May's mayoral election and the Combined Authority meeting on 14 March.

If members of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority approve the plans on 14 March, the plans will then be sent to the government for approval.

The Combined Authority said the exact route would be subject to a public consultation.

Leeds City Council leader James Lewis said: "This is an important step forward in delivering mass transit, but there is still much to do and we are committed to working with the Combined Authority and our partners so this can be achieved for the benefit of people across West Yorkshire."

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