A direct rail service link between Leeds and Leeds/Bradford Airport provides the most attractive solution in terms of journey times, a report compiled for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority concludes, adding that any new Parkway station would be less attractive because of the need to interchange.
The WYCA favours such a direct rail line to a station at the airport, while the Harrogate Chamber of Trade backs the Parkway concept (RAIL 794).
However, the report also notes that “all the potential fixed link alignments considered significantly exceed the typical maximum gradient that heavy rail can operate over a sustained distance.
“The majority of the route options on the eastern side of the Airport (towards Horsforth) are at the highest gradient of any light rail system in the UK. The routes on the western side of the Airport (towards Bradford) involve gradient profiles which are in excess of any current UK light rail system over a significant section.”
As a result, the report suggests that “viable solutions” would be focused on bus-based technology towards Bradford and tram-train on the eastern side in the long term. A new Parkway station option located north of Horsforth station was also deemed to merit further investigation.
- For more on this story see RAIL 795, on sale March 2