Header Image: They’ve had them for decades! When will it be West Yorkshire’s turn? Karlsruhe, Germany: tram-trains run on street or heavy-rail tracks. More recent examples can be seen in South Yorkshire!
West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s mass transit plans have been refined. There is a new, short consultation which closes two weeks into the new year – your opportunity to support progress but also to raise concerns. From HADRAG viewpoint main concerns might be how mass transit will complement existing transport including heavy rail, coupled with how long we shall have to wait for the trams (light rail), tram trains ultra-light rail or advanced buses that might eventually come our way. Phase 1 options not surprisingly centre on Bradford and Leeds, with light rail in the lead for East Leeds, Leeds-Bradford, and Leeds-Heckmondwike-Dewsbury. A fourth phase 1 proposal links Bradford with the Spen Valley and Dewsbury – mode still to be specified. Later phases could bring the system to north Halifax via Queensbury and on through Elland and Brighouse. The consultation can be found at this link: Have your say on the West Yorkshire Mass Transit Vision 2040 | Your Voice (westyorks-ca.gov.uk).
Surely there is little doubt that improving and developing our regional heavy rail network – existing lines! – can deliver benefits earlier than either still-to-be-developed mass transit or very long term, very uncertain high speed lines. Benefits will be different for different people. And the will of central government needs to be there. West Yorkshire Combined Authority has a strong rail team and the next draft rail study is out late spring (after the May local elections we guess). There is talk of infrastructure expansion: things like passing loops in the Calder Valley hopefully more ambitious than the now shelved (we think) scheme to facilitate diversions during TransPennine Route upgrade works. Our impression is that HADRAG’s ambitions chime at least in part with those of the combined authority. Better services for more stations!
Header Image: CC BY-SA 3.0 File:Heilbronn Bahnhofsvorplatz Stadtbahn01 2002-09-08.jpg. Under creative commons Share-Alike_License