There has been a lot of Liberal-Democrat misinformation recently about local transport proposals, especially rail stations. This letter is to explain what is actually happening and invite you to send me your views, so I can represent the best interests of our area. Here are some important points:
The Lib-Dems falsely claim that I, and other members of the Labour Party, have “rejected” plans for a new station near the Ring Road, as part of the Woodside Quarry development. That’s nonsense - we support the plans for a new rail halt at Woodside but do not believe that a major Park+Ride scheme there is acceptable. It would involve a large multi-storey car park, destroying many currently protected trees; and would draw hundreds of cars into the area at peak hours, increasing congestion. I don’t believe this is what the old or new residents of the area would want. The leaders of Horsforth Town Council are also alarmed by this major proposal.
We do support the idea of a new station, outside the City’s built-up area, at the southern end of Bramhope tunnel. A Park+Ride station there can attract traffic from Otley and North Yorkshire before it enters our residential areas and will improve connections to the airport. This is a costed plan, already at the design and consultation stage, which could be built in the next 2-3 years.
The new station at Bramhope tunnel entrance is close enough to Horsforth and Cookridge to attract cars that park around Horsforth station. A Park+Ride station there, coupled with a review of local parking controls, should improve the current congestion around Horsforth Station.
I have spent time discussing the proposals with City leaders and transport experts. We believe the two proposals are complementary, not mutually exclusive; they serve different groups of people. To make them work we need an electrified train service, which I and my Labour colleagues strongly support. A Woodside halt for people who walk, cycle or use the new estate’s shuttle bus, will complement the strategic plan for Park+Ride at Bramhope Tunnel. I look forward to both being completed, moving us towards the greener, more effective transport system that we all want to see.
*Photo credit RichTea, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons