Why has the announcement been made now?

    The council’s intent has always been to respond to the most recent consultation before the end of the 2019 calendar year. However, with the general election being called, pre-election period regulations applied and December’s executive board meeting had to be moved to January 8th. The council has published its recommendations ahead of January’s executive board meeting. 

    What is the design and status of the new proposal?

    The recommendations are that work is discontinued on options A, B and C and that the council explores the feasibility of a new connectivity package. This is to provide a connector road for the parkway station, and to allow some highway access for the North West Leeds Employment Hub site. At this stage, further feasibility work is required. Once feasibility work has been completed, we will undertake further engagement on the proposals.

    The objective of the road is for a different purpose than the original intention, so the design will reflect the new purpose of promoting public transport use and achieving modal shift.

    The recommendations are that work is discontinued on options A, B and C and that the council explores the feasibility of a new connectivity package. This is to provide a connector road for the parkway station, and to allow some highway access for the North West Leeds Employment Hub site. At this stage, further feasibility work is required. Once feasibility work has been completed, we will undertake further engagement on the proposals.

    The objective of the road is for a different purpose than the original intention, so the design will reflect the new purpose of promoting public transport use and achieving modal shift.

    Who is responsible for delivering this infrastructure?

    The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is leading the proposals for the parkway station, and the council is responsible for highways infrastructure in this area.

    When will this be built? / When will the station be open? / When will the road be open? / When will the employment hub be developed?

    It is anticipated that further consultation will be undertaken in 2020 around the new proposals. This may include re-working some of the previously published timescales around delivery of the parkway station and road elements. Next steps will be published in due course.


    How much money has been spent on the project to date?

    Development funds of up to £1.79M and £5m were allocated to the airport link route and the LBA parkway station respectively from the West Yorkshire Transport Fund in order to develop an outline business case for each scheme. Whilst the proposals are being reviewed, much of the work completed so far would not be in vain and will aid the development of the new connectivity package.

    How much will the new proposals cost? How will they be funded? What will happen to money allocated for the road?

    Whilst further detailed work on this is still to be completed, it is anticipated that the new connectivity proposals (both the station and road) package could cost £70-75M, which represents a significantly lower cost than the previous proposals for link route option A and LBA parkway. The new road option is forecast to be around a third of the £100m quoted for the original option A.

    The council provided high level costs for the road options to inform the consultation exercise. Despite speculation to the contrary, neither the council nor West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) have committed funding or budget to deliver the scheme, or confirmed a funding strategy to date. As part of the next steps, a funding strategy will be developed and this will include consideration of contributions from the airport, and from development at the North West Leeds Employment Hub.

    Will there be more frequent trains operating when the parkway station opens to help people travel to and from the airport?

    This will be reviewed in partnership with Network Rail through the development of the business case for this scheme.

    How often will the airport shuttle bus run to and from the parkway station? And will it be free?

    This will be reviewed and refined through the business case development. Whilst it is too early to be giving specific timetables, we would be looking to time the shuttle buses to suit the frequency of trains calling at station. Work is ongoing and we will look at best practice elsewhere – this will include consideration of how the service could be subsidised whilst bearing in mind that the passenger experience needs to be of sufficient quality to attract users.

    How will people access the employment hub? Will there be good public transport or will people need to get there by car?

    As part of the design and feasibility work, potential walking and cycle connections to the employment hub will be explored. It is also anticipated that commuters can use the parkway station as a means of accessing the employment hub, and the link route will provide the option for those who will drive. The road access required for the hub will be developed through further feasibility work and we anticipate consulting on this element in 2020.

    How will the park and ride site be accessed from the south? / What will happen to Scotland Lane?

    This element is being reviewed. We will develop some options to address this as part of the next stage of feasibility work on the project.

    Why can’t the rail link go all the way to the airport?

    At this stage, it is unlikely that a direct rail link will be affordable and offer value for money. WYCA commissioned some outline options appraisal work in 2016. The report indicated that a heavy rail link cannot be achieved without extensive tunnelling and cuttings which would incur significant costs. There is potential for a light rail or tram-train link option to link the airport terminal to the existing Harrogate line. However, the cost for a tram-train / light rail link would be significant and would necessitate bespoke vehicles for a tram–train system. Although the costs for delivering the proposed Leeds Bradford Airport Parkway Station are still being refined it is anticipated that a parkway station will be able to deliver significant benefits at a significantly lower total cost.

    What is proposed in relation to the development of the Employment Hub site?

    The North West Leeds Employment Hub allocation was adopted within the Site Allocation Plan on the 10th July 2019. The 36.23 hectare employment hub is allocated for employment growth with the following uses: Research & Development, Light Industrial, General Industrial and Storage & Distribution. The allocation responds to the deficit of employment land in Outer North West Leeds that is fit for purpose for modern business needs. This land is not for uses directly associated with an airport –e.g. terminal or runway.

    The council, in its status as the local planning authority, will consult in 2020 on a ‘development brief’ for the site, and this will set out more detailed guidance on the redevelopment of the site. The development brief will consider guidance on environmental matters, and any future proposals for development on the site would need to apply for planning consent and respond to this brief, as well as local and national planning policies. It must be noted, however, that any proposed development at the site will be the subject of a planning application at the appropriate time.

    Will the parkway/rail link be used by commuters?

    It is anticipated that the proposed parkway station will be used by commuters working at the airport and within the vicinity of this area, including the employment hub. The parkway station will also provide a rail park and ride link for commuters travelling from NW Leeds to Leeds city centre, Harrogate, York and destinations in between & beyond. It is forecast that 61% of users of the station will be non-aviation related.

Climate Emergency

    How have these plans been modified in light of the climate emergency?

    In light of the climate emergency and consultation feedback, the council has updated our plans to reduce the scope of the highway proposals and increase focus on the connectivity between the parkway station, jobs and the airport. Greater consideration has also been given to how the impacts of any developments on green field and green belt land can be minimised. Additionally, a greater focus has been placed on ensuring that the plans being explored will facilitate a change in travel behaviours, enabling more sustainable travel journeys.

    What is the expected impact of these revised proposals on local traffic levels and air quality?

    Mitigating air pollution and traffic congestion are key objectives of the scheme. We need to carry out further feasibility and appraisal work around the new proposals to better understand these impacts, however the scheme will not progress in its current form if these objectives are not met.

    Will new parking for the employment hub/airport include charge points for electric vehicles?

    We are not providing additional airport parking, and the development brief for the employment hub will set out requirements from a climate and sustainability perspective.

    How are you going to offset the environmental impacts of the surface access proposals?

    This is currently being explored by the council and will be a focus of the next stage of work, there is nothing we can confirm at this stage.

    How do these plans fit with the council’s stated aim of the city being carbon-neutral by 2030?

    Facilitating a shift in transport towards increasing sustainable travel and decreasing car usage are key targets of both the council’s response to the climate emergency strategy and the West Yorkshire Transport Strategy. The proposed parkway link route will contribute to these objectives, enabling sustainable travel and improving connectivity. Whilst some Leeds Bradford Airport users will undoubtedly use the proposed parkway to travel sustainably instead of driving, the majority of the parkway station users (61%) are forecast to be unrelated to the airport.

    These proposals will have no impact on the demand for flights. Whilst these proposals will make it easier for residents to travel from LBA, the net carbon impact of residents choosing LBA over more distant airports will be to reduce emissions.

    Leeds City Council recognises that, until new zero-emission technologies are developed, planned national growth for aviation is incompatible with the UK’s targets to reduce carbon emissions and fight the climate emergency. The council will therefore participate in national and international discussions to revise growth projections as part of a revised national aviation strategy, with the aim of distributing aviation share across the country in a way which minimises carbon emissions and promotes an economic rebalancing of the regions.

    Green design will be encouraged throughout this process. The council is also exploring the feasibility of offsetting the emissions from the scheme’s construction in local schemes, and as a general rule aims to plant a minimum three trees for every one tree that is removed by development.

    Will footpaths and cycle paths be worked into any designs?

    Opportunities to provide high quality walking and cycling routes will be fully explored through the design and feasibility work as an integral part of the proposed surface access strategy. A modal shift towards sustainable transport is a key focus of reducing the carbon footprint of the city. This will include work to provide continuity of access for Public Rights of Way (PRoWs), incorporation of connections to the proposed parkway station and proposed employment hub and the provision of crossing opportunities for cyclists and pedestrians.


    If the main link road is not now progressing, how will these revised plans helps to reduce congestion and rat-running on the local road network?

    The revised proposals will be subject to thorough appraisal process including transport modelling. A review of the local highway network, including technical feasibility work will be undertaken, to understand future connectivity and traffic options and investments that may be required due to the new strategy.

    Also, the parkway station aims to facilitate modal shift, with the knock-on effect of reducing congestion. The road is being built to provide the necessary access to both the parkway station and employment hub.

Consultation/ proposals/timescales

    Are there going to be further opportunities for engagement? How can I make my views known?

    Yes – a further period of public engagement is proposed during 2020 around the new proposals.

    Will the plans change again?

    Plans could potentially change as a result of engagement, feasibility work and traffic modelling.