The Yorkshire Party has pledged to do everything possible to deliver a light rail link to Leeds-Bradford Airport if their candidate Bob Buxton wins the West Yorkshire mayoral election.

Dr Buxton said: “I’m disappointed that Leeds City Council has only considered a heavy rail option in the consultation and, even then, their costing of at least £350 million appears to be a huge overestimate.”

Dr Buxton, who has a PhD in mechanical engineering, added: “Separate to the airport rail consultation, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority is proposing a mass transit system which includes a route to the airport via the A658. Surely a link to the Horsforth line would strengthen the whole network – especially with trains which run on both heavy and light rail, providing a quick route to the city centre. A park-and-ride adjacent to the airport would take hundreds of cars off the road every day – both airport users and regular traffic - reducing congestion and air pollution. We need joined-up-thinking to have a joined-up mass transit system.”

The consultation on an alternative proposal, a parkway station on the Horsforth line, runs until 21st February. Leeds City Council has dismissed a direct heavy rail link to the airport due to cost but the consultation makes no mention of a light rail option. “The parkway station has some merit but is suboptimal since it is still a bus ride from the airport. It would also take a huge chunk of prime greenbelt. Moreover, the proposed mass transit system would make it almost obsolete.”

Dr Buxton concluded: “If elected, I’ll do everything in my power to deliver a world class mass transit system with multiple park-and-ride options. It will require Westminster’s consent which is why the Yorkshire Party will continue to fight for real devolution and fair funding for the whole of Yorkshire, so we can truly decide our own destiny.”