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West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Council working closely with Scarborough Group, has appointed a development partner to progress the business case for a rail station at Thorpe Park on the York/Selby line. The Outline Business case including technical and business case work will be completed by Spring 2019. The implementation of the scheme will be subject to the relevant rail industry approvals, availability of funding, and technical and business case feasibility.
What other locations for the station have been considered?
Options for location have been driven by track alignment and positioning next to Cross Gates station to the West and constrained by the East Leeds Orbital Road (ELOR) rail bridge to the East. The proposed station is therefore located immediately on the straight section of track after the passes through the ELOR bridge. This also conveniently aligns the location immediately adjacent to the Thorpe Park development.
Given the early stage of development it is not possible to state when the station will open. Current programmes anticipate construction starting in 2021/2022, however this is subject to the availability of funding, assurance processes of the Combined Authority, the viability of the business case and the relevant statutory and rail industry approvals
What improvements will be made to the local road and pedestrian and cycling network surrounding the proposed Thorpe Park station?
Vehicle access from Leeds and beyond would be via access from the M1 motorway accessing the new ELOR roundabout from the East. From the roundabout, it is proposed that vehicles would access the proposed station car park off Manston Lane. Safe pedestrians walking routes would be incorporated as part of the station car park design. We are working closely with Scarborough Group to tie in the proposed rail station with the pedestrian walking network within the Thorpe Park development.
Is the proposed railway station at Thorpe Park definitely going ahead and wow will the new station be funded?
Development funding has been secured by Leeds City Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority from the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme and the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund.
This funding is approved to develop the station up to the completion of Outline Business Case. Further development and implementation of the scheme will be subject to the availability of funding, assurance processes of the Combined Authority, the viability of the business case and the relevant statutory and rail industry approvals. The project is subject to approval at a number of stages prior to the start of construction to ensure the scheme continues to show value for money.
What provision will the station have for car parking?
Development of suitable car parking provisions at this site will be a continuous process throughout the development of this project. Our current intention is to achieve a minimum of 500 spaces. We will continue to work with Leeds City Council to develop the most appropriate car park solution that meets the needs of passengers.
Vehicle access to the station would be accommodated via access road, turning circle and pickup / drop-off point. The station will incorporate parking spaces for blue badge holders, with low energy lighting and CCTV.
Will a charge be made for parking at the station car park?
Most rail station car parks in West Yorkshire do not apply charging, however, some locations are charged on a case-by-case basis. Charging will continue to be considered on a case-by-case basis if it is beneficial to the business and financial cases of the scheme which ultimately brings benefit to the passengers. No decision has been made about whether the rail user car parking will be charged or not at this stage.
Development of suitable bus service provision to this station will be a continuous process throughout the development of this project. We will continue to work with Leeds City Council and bus operators to deliver the most appropriate services that meets the needs of passengers.
Development of a suitable train services timetable on this route will be a continuous process throughout the development of this project. Our current intention is to achieve a minimum of a two trains per hour service pattern at this location. We will continue to work with the relevant train operators and Transport for the North to deliver the most appropriate timetable that meets the needs of passengers based on the network capacity and the availability and suitability of the rolling stock.
Based on the anticipated footfall of the station, the station will be categorised as a staffed station. The provision of staff at station, however, is a commercial decision for operator. We will be working closely with the operator to ensure that a suitable level of staff presence could be provided to the proposed station.
Who will be responsible for operating and managing the station?
Our current assumption is Northern will operate and manage the station. This, however, might be subject to change as the station is more developed and this will be reviewed as part of the wider considerations for the Combined Authority.
When will the Transpennine Route Upgrade be delivered?
The Department for Transport has plans to invest £3 billion improving journeys on the Transpennine route from spring 2019.
The Government is working with Network Rail and Rail North to determine the best way to achieve significant passenger improvements on this key route between Manchester, Leeds and York, and we are engaging with this process.
A range of options are being assessed for this upgrade, including full or partial electrification, digital railway technology to improve safety and reliability and track enhancements to reduce journey times and increase capacity.
The Department for Transport has confirmed that further decisions will be made later this year.
Trains on this line are already very congested. Will building this station make my journey even more crowded?
The Combined Authority is aware that availability of train capacity and seating is a key challenge in this area in particular during peak hours. We are working with the operators on the route through Rail North to influence their timetable and deployment of rolling stock so that trains are deployed in the way that benefits passengers. In the medium and longer terms, the Combined Authority will work closely with the Department for Transport and Transport for North to support a case for further investment on rolling stock and train capacity.
What other engagement will be taking place in the future?
Future engagement activities will be confirmed during the next stage of development. Further public engagement events will take place together with further online engagement. We are keen to give the public the chance to comment at every step along the way and keep you informed of progress.
Will a new station on the Leeds to York/Selby line result in any closures of existing stations, or impact on current service provision?
A new rail station at Thorpe Park would be in addition to the existing stations at Cross Gates, Garforth, East Garforth and Micklefield on the Leeds to York/Selby line, and would not result in any station closures.
With regard to potential rail service, at this stage of development it is too early to know, however the Combined Authority will work with the rail industry and Transport for the North to work out a timetable that best serves the demand for passengers on this route.