The Leeds Integrated Station Masterplan (as found in the South Bank Leeds Regeneration Framework pg 75 - 115), has been developed by Leeds City Council, in partnership with West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the wider rail industry, to ensure the city and wider region can benefit from the huge amount of investment in this area.
Leeds station is already seeing early transformations take place as part of a wider masterplan for development in the area. In the near future it will also see new and improved connectivity across the region and between major cities across the UK through the realisation of High Speed Rail and Northern Powerhouse Rail.
As the busiest transport hub in the north, the station is in need of significant investment, with numbers of passengers using the station set to double over the next 30 years. Plans will accommodate this growth and look to seamlessly integrate HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and the enhancement of classic rail services which use the station.
Developments will allow for a step change in rail connectivity and capacity in the north of England – better connecting people and businesses to jobs and markets whilst also acting as a catalyst for accelerating and enhancing the regeneration of the South Bank.
A new internationally significant district will also be created in Leeds city centre, with the potential for 300,000 square metres of commercial development.
High Speed Rail - HS2
Leeds and the wider region is growing and HS2, alongside Northern Powerhouse Rail is vital to supporting next steps in transforming the economy.
HS2 is due to arrive in Leeds in 2033 and offers a significant opportunity for the city. Beyond the step change in connectivity and increased capacity, HS2 and other major transport schemes such as NPR, offer a once-in-a-lifetime chance to transform the city centre.
Through the build process and then subsequent arrival of HS2 in Leeds and the city region there will be a number of key benefits realised including thousands of new jobs including apprenticeships, opportunities for local businesses to work on a number of projects, much needed rail capacity and better connections across the region and further investment into the city.
In November 2018, HS2 went out to public consultation on the Working Draft Environmental Statement and it is anticipated the Phase 2B hybrid bill submission for Birmingham to Leeds and Crewe to Manchester will be next year (2020). Phase 2A (Birmingham to Crewe) is currently proceeding through Parliament and is anticipated to achieve royal assent in December 2019.
Early construction work of HS2 Phase 1 has already commenced between London and Birmingham. With detailed planning already underway, construction of the line to Leeds is planned to start in 2024, with the line to open in 2033. Some services will terminate at an expanded Leeds Station and others will travel onto York Station.
Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR)
NPR is a major strategic rail programme, designed to transform connectivity between key economic centres of the north. The programme promises radical changes in service patterns and target journey times. NPR will link Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull and Newcastle.
NPR and HS2 are intrinsically linked and the delivery of both programmes will ensure a huge improved connectivity for Leeds to other major cities across the UK.
The NPR strategic outline business case (SOBC) received Transport for the North Board approval in February 2019. It outlines just how the investment could increase the capacity, speed and resilience of the north’s rail network. The network represents an investment of up to £39 billion. Work is now progressing to look at NPR options and concepts and a further SOBC will be submitted to the Department for Transport in October 2020.
Integrating HS2 and NPR
NPR and HS2 will mean the following for Leeds and improved connectivity: Insert graphic and HS2/NPR diagram and benefits of both.
- The eastern arm of HS2 Phase 2b serves an economy of £320 billion, linking up 14 million people from the Midlands to the northeast and Scotland. Leeds sits at the heart of this
- NPR will connect the two arms of HS2, thereby enabling greater capacity and fast and easy travel between the major cities at the heart of the country, east to west, north to south
- Journey times from Leeds to Birmingham would go from two hours to just 57 minutes, while to Liverpool it would take only an hour