High-speed rail campaign “will continue” as key transport board is presented with confidential plans

DRAFT proposals for a new high-speed rail line across the Pennines have been put to a key board of transport bosses.

The plans for a new Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) network, which will go out for public consultation early next year, have now been put to the board at Transport for the North, which has been commissioned by the Government to draw up the scheme.

Although the plans are understood to now include a stop for Bradford, after a high-profile campaign run by the city’s political and business leaders, Bradford Council leader Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe said she was unable to confirm whether this was the case.

But she did say the Next Stop Bradford campaign was far from over. She said one key aspect to the campaign was the call for a high-speed station to be located in the heart of the city, rather than in the suburbs.

She said: “When I talk about the campaign continuing, it will continue from there. First of all, we have to argue for Bradford to be on that line. Secondly, we have to argue for it to be a city centre station over a parkway station. As I say, it’s going to be a long-term campaign.”

A spokesman for Transport for the North said: “Details of the programme have been discussed by the Transport for the North Partnership Board and an agreed emerging vision for Northern Powerhouse Rail will be included in our draft Strategic Transport Plan for the North, which will be published for public consultation by early 2018.”

The spokesman said the final decision on the Northern Powerhouse Rail programme would be taken by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.

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