Leeds Station.(Network Rail Image)
Major investment in Leeds is set to continue after schemes to improve both train journeys and the look and feel of the station were announced.
Another major project, funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, will see the partial pedestrianisation of New Station Street to ease congestion and improve the flow of people at the entrance of the station, with construction set to begin early next year.
The latest two announcements come hot on the heels of last month’s announcement that the dark, tired wooden ceiling panels in the South Concourse are to be replaced by a transparent, plastic roof that will allow natural light to flood the station – which is England’s second busiest outside of London.
The installation of scaffolding towers in the South Concourse starts next week and will continue until Christmas, when the removal of the existing roof will begin. Passengers are advised that space in the concourse will be reduced during the construction, and so should try to allow extra time to make their way through to the platforms or use the Southern Entrance via Dark Neville Street.
To allow space for platform zero, the number of long stay car parking spaces at Leeds will be reduced in phases from December this year until May 2019, when the long stay car park will close completely until the platform is built in 2021, with Network Rail working alongside Leeds City Council to promote alternative parking sites. Just over 100 spaces of the current 400 will be reduced by early January with the number of spaces reduced further between March and May in 2019. Contract car park spaces will remain in place.
Rob McIntosh, route managing director for Network Rail, said:
“Together this trio of projects are the biggest investment in the station since Leeds First in the early 2000s, and I am delighted that they will start delivering benefits for passengers and the city as early as next autumn.
“There will inevitably be changes to peoples’ usual walking routes and routines during construction and we will do everything we can to keep people moving efficiently and safely, in eager anticipation of a noticeably improved station upon completion.”
- The new ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene) will be in place in time for the UCI Road World Championships which take place in Yorkshire in September and is the first step towards the delivery of the transformational Leeds Integrated Station Masterplan (LISM) – a collaboration between the rail industry, Leeds City Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
- The £161m investment in the rail infrastructure – officially called Leeds Station Capacity Enhancements – will take place in three phases, starting with the transfer of signal control to York’s Rail Operating Centre (1), followed by the upgrading of the signalling system in and around the station (2) and concluding with the construction of platform zero and realignment of the tracks into platforms 1-6, which will also be lengthened (3). All three phases will be completed by 2021.
- Platform zero will be constructed on land currently used as the existing long stay station car park. Between December this year and May 2019, the number of spaces available will be gradually reduced until there is no long stay public car parking available. Station car parking will return upon the completion of the project in 2021.
- Network Rail is working alongside Leeds City Council to advertise alternative car parking during the construction phase. Anyone with questions on car parking should contact XXX
- The part pedestrianisation of New Station Street will be completed in Autumn 2019.