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'Bold' plans afoot for Leeds station regeneration

Leeds city railway station

Leeds City Council has a “bold” ambition to develop Leeds station into a national landmark as work on its masterplan progresses.

A new masterplan for the station is being drawn up to make it a key national landmark, a transport interchange featuring high speed rail, and a springboard for regeneration for the city and region.

The council said that more than 100,000 passengers pass through Leeds Station each day, making it the busiest in the North.

The council said that it, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and HS2 Growth Partnership were part of a public-private collaboration, driving forward the transformation of the Leeds station area. It said this would integrate HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail using a “T-shape” platform design, the Trans-Pennine Route Upgrade and Northern Rail into the Yorkshire Hub.

It said improved access for cars, taxis, buses, public transport, cycling and walking would also be part of the plans. Options for a common concourse offering easy access between high-speed rail and other services are also being explored. The council said this could include how to make best use of areas surrounding the station, such as the Dark Arches undercroft.

An Atkins-led consortium of Gensler, Bilfinger GVA, Faithful & Gould, Albion Economics and Bam Construction won the contract to develop the masterplan in October last year.

The group includes Gensler aviation & transportation practice area leader Hiro Aso, who worked as the lead design architect for the revamp of King’s Cross Station in London.

High Speed 2 (HS2) promoter HS2 Ltd’s chairman David Higgins said: “HS2 will provide a step-change in rail capacity and connectivity on the corridor between Leeds and London. As such, Leeds station will continue to be a major part of this country’s national infrastructure, with anticipated passenger flows on a par with Gatwick Airport. Network Rail forecasts a 114% increase in passenger numbers over the next 30 years.

“That means that any future plans to accommodate HS2’s needs at Leeds station must take full account not only of HS2, but also continued growth in existing services and those anticipated to be added as a result of the Northern Powerhouse agenda, including HS3.”

An updated station masterplan featuring the work by the Atkins consortium is likely to be completed by next summer.

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