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Council Not Being Honest about Flawed and Half-Baked Airport Parkway Station Plans

April 11, 2017 5:47 PM

Leeds City Council are trying to cover up flaws in a controversial plan to build a rail station at Leeds Bradford Airport, despite local MP Greg Mulholland exposing the disarray the plans are in. The Council's plans for the proposed Parkway Rail Station have been shown to lack basic elements such as a study on how traffic access will be managed and the size and shape of the proposed car park.

Greg Mulholland MP asked Leeds City Council to answer 14 specific questions about the proposals which covered issues including the potential need for Compulsory Purchase Orders, plans for traffic management, the potential cost of the project and the timescale.

The main findings were;

The proposed development would serve Leeds Bradford Airport as well as acting as a park and ride scheme for commuters. Despite this dual purpose, no research has been undertake as to how the road system will work and what changes may need to be made to existing roads.

The Council have even been forced to admit that they don't know whether any existing buildings will require demolition, or whether they will need to use Compulsory Purchase Orders.

Without this information, it is almost impossible to accurately predict the cost of the project or a likely timetable for completion. Despite the lack of a comprehensive strategy or draft plans, the Council have put an initial estimated cost of £23 million on the project. This will be part funded from the £173.5m that would have gone in to the now rejected trolleybus scheme.

Reacting to the Council's answers, Greg Mulholland MP said,

"It was already apparent that the way the plans for a parkway station for Leeds Bradford Airport were not being honestly presented and now it is clear that this is the case."

"The reality is that far from being a convenient and cost effective idea, the Parkway Station and 500 space Park and Ride is costly, reliant on new roads and concretes all over the Green Belt. When people realise what these plans actually mean, they will realise that as not being a real rail link to the airport, it also is a deeply flawed idea."

"It is extraordinary that as part of their weak and unambitious plans for spending the one off amount of £173.5m Government funding, Leeds City Council are proposing a parkway station yet they haven't done any of the basic planning for such a scheme. They don't know if Compulsory Purchase Orders will be required or even if any existing buildings will need to be demolished. No assessment has been done of potential traffic flows and there is no proper understanding of how traffic will access the new station."

August 2015, blank

"The truth of course is that the huge footprint of a station, park and ride and road link will destroy farmland and will cause rush hour traffic havoc as well as preventing Leeds Bradford Airport ever getting the proper rail link it needs."

"So it is time that Leeds City Council started being honest about this half-baked, unambitious yet destructive idea and it is time it was stopped in it tracks. We need and deserve a rail link and with the short distance from the line to Leeds Bradford Airport, where there is land available for a station, so this must progressed instead and the money spent transforming transport not holding Leeds back."

The controversial scheme has been widely criticised with many feeling let down by the proposals and their failure to properly tackle the wider transportation needs of Leeds. The use of part of the £173.5 million that was not used on the now scrapped Trolleybus scheme is especially disappointing and will end the chances of a comprehensive, fully integrated new transport system across the city.