LEEDS Bradford Airport is pledging £4 million for better public transport and sustainable access if its proposal for a replacement terminal building is approved.

The existing building, built in 1965, is due to be replaced as part of plans to create "one of the most sustainable airport buildings in the UK".

As part of the proposals, currently open for public feedback on Leeds City Council’s Planning Portal, LBA has committed to a Sustainable Travel Fund of £4 million. The money would be used to fund a range of sustainable travel measures and public transport improvements, particularly the new rail link off Scotland Road.

The rail link, planned for less than a mile away from the proposed entrance of the replacement building, would connect the Leeds and Harrogate section of the East Coast mainline with LBA via an hourly service.

LBA has also proposed a new dedicated bus terminal at the front of the main entrance, with priority access for buses, and committed to enhancing and bettering existing services, including increasing the daytime frequency of the bus routes, introducing a direct coach service between Leeds and Bradford interchanges and additional bus routes.

It says the bus terminal will be future proofed to allow for operations following delivery of the planned rail station.

LBA Chief Executive Hywel Rees said: "Our commitment to a sustainable future goes beyond our own operations and we want to reduce the impact of our proposals on local roads and residents. Our previous consent to increase passenger numbers and expand the terminal did not go far enough to address the challenges passengers face in reaching the airport and the impact on local roads.

“We mean it when we say we do not want more passengers arriving by car. Additional parking is not a measure that we want to use as we believe we can bring people to the airport in a more sustainable way. These proposals have the potential to accelerate the rate of innovation in sustainable access to the site and now is the time to act.

“We need to modernise not just our terminal, but our approach to surface access with better, more frequent buses and a new rail link and I’m confident that these enhancements will only make LBA more accessible in efficient ways as we move towards a sustainable future.”

As well as continuing to promote car sharing schemes for staff and passengers, a new, shared footway/cycle route between Whitehouse Lane and the terminal forecourt will be created and new shuttle bus services to areas with large numbers of employees will be explored.

LBA says it is currently reachable by 9 per cent of the UK population within 1.5 hours, higher than most other UK regional airports which significantly outperform LBA passenger numbers.