New public transport link between Castleford and University of Leeds proposed

The plans could tie in with the arrival of HS2 in the region.
The plans could tie in with the arrival of HS2 in the region.

A new public transport link which would run directly between Castleford and Leeds could be created within the next 15 years.

The route, which would include stops at Leeds Dock, Leeds Arena and the city's universities, is one of several new links being considered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA).

Details are sketchy at this stage, but it is hoped the new network would be up and running by the early 2030s to tie in with High Speed Rail coming to the region.

The scheme, which would see a development of existing public transport, is designed to connect areas of the county that suffer from poor transport links.

The Castleford-Leeds line was one of several to be discussed at a meeting in Bradford on Monday.

Tom Gifford, from WYCA, warned that any developments would not be imminent.

He said: "This is just about starting the conversation. Nothing is confirmed, this is just about looking at the key areas we need to connect – where are the next big schemes going to be?

“We are talking about five to 20 years down the line, these aren’t plans that are going to happen tomorrow. We already have ambitions and targets we want to achieve, including an increase in people walking and cycling and a reduction in car trips by 3.5 per cent.

“We haven’t looked at everywhere yet, but we’ve looked at places that we feel need a really improved transport offer.

“There are no decisions yet on what route this will be, we’re not saying it will follow this road or that road. There is no decision on which transport mode it will be.

“All we’re looking at is if these are the right areas, the ones that currently suffer from poor public transport."

Other proposed routes would link Dewsbury with the university area of Leeds, via Bradford and a line between Leeds city centre and Thorpe Park, Harehills and Seacroft to the east.