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West Yorkshire Transport Consultation Response

West Yorkshire Transport Consultation Response

The West Yorkshire Transport Consultation aims to put Yorkshire back on track. Stewart Arnold, Leader of the Yorkshire Party, responds.

While I have focused on issues in West Yorkshire, since that is the scope of the consultation and the Combined Authority, I have included some comments on adjacent regions, since they affect West Yorkshire’s connectivity. I have focused on rail, since it is the best option for taking cars off the road and therefore helping bus services and remaining car users.

An inadequate transport network

West Yorkshire, and the whole of Yorkshire and the North, suffers from under-investment in transport. Whilst per head infrastructure spending in London and the South-East on transport is £5426, in Yorkshire it’s just £581 (IPPR North report 2014). And you get what you pay for. Whilst the South-east has benefitted from new trains, new lines and station modernisation, Yorkshire struggles on with out-dated and inadequate trains and poor quality station infrastructure.

Yorkshire and the North need a modern, expanding rail network that is fully integrated with all forms of transport. It’s vital for how we live – getting to work, education and leisure – and is essential for a growing economy. Growth follows investment as London clearly shows. A long term plan connecting both within and outside of our region could be the catalyst for a stronger Yorkshire that drives a UK that works for all parts and regions.

Recent announcements on rail electrification are welcome but we want to see a clear timetable and funding for these projects, with schemes that are already committed but seriously delayed (e.g. TransPennine route) being given greater priority.