The Leeds Station Southern Entrance was due to open on January 3, after this issue of RAIL went to press.
The new facility links the southern end of the station’s main over-bridge to the rapidly developing business and residential area to the south of the river Aire.
Passengers leaving the station via the new exit will use two flights of escalators or lifts to reach a concourse built on an island constructed in the river. The concourse is then connected by bridges to both banks of the river and the surrounding streets.
It is expected that some 20% of the station’s passengers will use the new entrance, and that considerable numbers will be attracted to rail travel because the entrance avoids a dark, noisy, and lengthy walk from the existing station entrances and then under the railway to the south side offices, hotels and homes.
The project was last publicly costed at over £17 million. The Department for Transport has contributed £12.4m, with the balance coming from West Yorkshire’s Local Transport Plan and Leeds City Council.
Recent Office of Rail and Road station usage statistics show that Leeds had 28.8 million entries and exits in 2014/15 - the 12th highest number of all UK stations, and second only to Birmingham New Street for English stations outside London.