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Feasibility study will explore impact of high-speed rail station for Bradford

A STUDY is being commissioned into the feasibility of bringing high-speed rail to Bradford.

Campaigners say bringing high-speed rail to the city centre would boost the local economy by £1.3bn, improve journey times and increase capacity on the railway network.

Now the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) is inviting potential suppliers to bid for the £40,000 to £50,000 contract to deliver the study.

The notice says: “WYCA would like to commission the development of a credible and robust model which will be used to forecast the likely levels of additional transport demand that a Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) station at Bradford would generate and attract.

“The model will need to differentiate clearly between a NPR city-centre hub and a NPR parkway station option and also consider the effects on Bradford’s existing rail network.

“The outputs alongside a parallel piece of work examining the economic impacts of NPR in relation to Bradford will support Transport for the North’s sequence 3 NPR work.”

Interested parties will have until December 15 to bid for the contract, which will begin in January next year and end in March.

Earlier this year, Next Stop Bradford, a cross-party campaign by political and business leaders, was launched to press the case for the planned new Northern Powerhouse Rail line across the Pennines to include a stop in Bradford city centre.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “We’re continuing to make the case for a city centre NPR stop in Bradford and part of that is showing the positive economic impact high speed rail would have on Bradford itself.

“This work with WYCA will help us evidence the huge boost that we’d achieve with an NPR station so we can make the best case possible to Transport for North and the government.”

Last month, the Telegraph & Argus reported that proposals for a new high-speed line had 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 in early 2018, were put to the board at Transport for the North, which has been commissioned by the Government to draw up the scheme.

While the plans are understood to include a stop for Bradford following the high-profile Next Stop Bradford Campaign, Bradford Council leader Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe was unable to confirm whether this was the case.

A previous WYCA-commissioned report, carried out by global consultancy firm Arup, found there is a “compelling case” for a high-speed rail station to be built in Bradford.

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