Airport transport links needs to be improved to boost local economy, says MP

(9491304)

(9491304)

First published in Local news Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A MP has tabled a parliamentary motion calling for a rail link between Leeds Bradford Airport and surrounding towns and cities.

Leeds North West MP, Greg Mulholland, says the link will provide a boost to local jobs and the regional economy.

Mr Mulholland is also calling on the Government to ensure that companies winning two new rail franchises in the area will invest in infrastructure to support the link.

The MP has made a submission to a Department for Transport consultation on its specifications for potential bidders for the new Northern Rail and TransPennine Express franchises. Mr Mulholland is urging the government to stipulate that successful bidders must commit to investing in infrastructure to support the creation of the rail link. The deadline for rail companies wanting to bid for the franchises is April 2015, with the results to be announced in October 2015, and the franchises beginning in February 2016.

Mr Muholland said Leeds City Region had the largest city region economy outside London - with an economic output of £55 billion in 2013. He argued that a rail link would provide global connectivity for local businesses and help the area to remain vibrant and competitive.

He also believes the triumphant success of the Grand Depart showed the world what Yorkshire has to offer, and it is likely to lead to further business and tourism from abroad, particularly after the county also won the title of Europe's Leading Destination in 2013 - beating the likes of Berlin and Madrid.

The airport is set to have a total of 5.1 million passengers pass through in 2016 and is expected to support up to 3,400 full-time equivalent jobs.

Mr Mulholland’s motion calls on the aviation minister to "provide a further boost for local jobs and the regional economy by setting out a timescale"for investing in a rail link, and his consultation submission says that "The new Northern franchise should commit to the long term future of Leeds and support investment in a rail link."

Mr Mulholland said: "The Grand Depart of the Tour De France really showed the world what Yorkshire has to offer, and with the region now one of Europe’s leading destinations, this will undoubtedly mean an increase in business and visitors to Yorkshire.

"Leeds Bradford International Airport is vital to ensuring the region takes full advantage of its successes – a rail link connecting Yorkshire to the rest of the world will undoubtedly help provide a boost for local jobs and the regional economy."

In May this year the recently-appointed Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill made a personal visit to the airport -raising hopes that plans for better access roads and a rail link could be gaining ground.

He said: "The fact that I am here shows that I recognise the issue of connectivity.

"It will depend on the price tag, deliverability and talking to rail operators would have to be a part.

"Business, council leaders and MPs make it clear they see this as a priority and if it was not something I was taking seriously, I would not be within 50 miles of the airport."

Comments

Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree