Plan for West Yorkshire transit system announced January 27, 2021

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has published an ambitious vision for a mass transit network for West Yorkshire by 2040.

Unlike Sheffield (pictured) in South Yorkshire, none of the West Yorkshire cities have had tram networks in recent decades, but trains help cover the distance between the biggest centres People across the county are being asked to have their say on its Mass Transit Vision 2040 and Connectivity Infrastructure Plan.

This first phase of public consultation is open for public comment until April 11.

The plans also set out the critical role of major projects including HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, the Trans-Pennine line upgrade and rail electrification in an integrated transport system to connect West Yorkshire's cities, towns and local communities.

A new mass transit system forms part of that ambition but with only early indications, as yet, as to whether an advanced bus, tram, light rail or tram-train system would be most-suited to each part of the scheme.

Places with congested roads could be helped by a new mass transit system, such as Heckmondwike (pictured) which had railway stations before the 1960s The proposed system would make new connections to some of the most congested areas of West Yorkshire that currently lack anything but a bus network on its busy roads, such as north east Leeds; Cleckheaton and Heckmondwike; to the west of Bradford and north of Halifax; and to Otley.

It also seeks to add to the travel opportunities within some of the existing busy travel corridors and solve transit problems such as providing a connection between Bradford stations.

Trams once provided hundreds of miles of services between the cities and towns now forming the metropolitan county of West Yorkshire. Bradford, Huddersfield, Halifax and Leeds all had their own municipal tram networks operating in the late 1800s. There were also tram systems operating in the woollen district around Dewsbury and also in Wakefield and between Normanton and Pontefract.

Some of the tram networks came to an end in the 1930s, but Huddersfield continued to 1940, Bradford to 1950 and Leeds to 1959 as routes were switched to electric trolley buses and later diesel buses.

Find out more about the new proposals and have your say by April 11, 2021 via this  West Yorkshire Combined Authority webpage.


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