New stations to go ahead

Work is to start this summer on new railway stations at Apperley Bridge and Kirkstall Forge after the government announced funding of almost £10 million.

The announcement of the £9.5 million cash injection, by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, grants full approval to the scheme which is promoted by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, allowing work to begin.

Mr McLoughlin said: "These stations represent a major regeneration project for West Yorkshire and provide new transport links for the wider community. They will unlock growth and help create many hundreds of new jobs.

"The £9.5 million we are putting into this project shows that the coalition government is serious about investing in the infrastructure the country needs to drive economic growth, both locally and nationally."

Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew has welcomed the Department for Transport’s announcement that both schemes. have been given final approval. Construction work can now start in the autumn of 2014, with both stations expected to open in Summer 2015.

He said: "I was delighted to receive the news that the Department for Transport will be contributing to this project. I have been lobbying Government ministers for months and this is extremely welcome news for our city.

"This will make a real difference to our transport infrastructure and will increase investment in the area. I am pleased that the Government has taken action to address the needs of Leeds residents.”

The Department’s funding contribution will be a maximum of £9.5m towards the full scheme cost of £15.9m.

The Apperley Bridge Station will include a park and ride site to serve both Leeds and Bradford whilst the Kirkstall Forge Station will kick start over £400m of mixed-use development at the Old Forge site, including around 1,000 new homes and extensive commercial buildings. It is expected to support 300 jobs during construction. On completion it will create an estimated 1,800 jobs directly linked to the development and 300 more across the wider area.

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