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Leeds HS2 and Network Rail stations 'must be properly integrated'

Atkins gensler leeds station 2 3to2

Leeds High Speed 2 (HS2) station must be properly integrated with the Network Rail station, according to a Leeds council boss. 

Passengers arriving at the HS2 station in Leeds “cannot have two separate experiences” when connecting to Network Rail services Leeds City Council chief officer for economic development Angela Barnicle has said.

The new HS2 station will be built as part of phase 2b, which is due to be opened in 2033, and will adjoin the existing Network Rail station in a T shape. The existing station was “significantly” rebuilt in 2002, however further expansion is now required to meet growing demand at the station.

Speaking at an HS2 conference in Birmingham, Barnicle said the two stations needed to have a “holistic” approach and be properly integrated.

“HS2 does not wholly dependent on the success of the classic station [existing Network Rail station] but the rail network cannot provide two separate experiences for passengers,” she said. “This is an integrated station and when you step off at the HS2 station, you don’t then go through a classic station door and go through into what was 2018.

“This is about delivering an integrated and holistic experience for every rail passenger and the classic station certainly isn’t a world class experience for people like Channel 4, Burberry and Reed Smith [which are relocating to Leeds] who have bought into the vision that we are going to deliver that for Network Rail.”

A masterplan for the refurbishment of the existing station, led by Atkins and a team including Gensler and Bam, was published in November last year. However, the upgrade project is on the Network Rail list of projects which is seeking private funding, and remains unfunded. 

The situation mirrors that of Euston Station in London for which the existing Network Rail side has also not yet secured funding for its redevelopment.

Barnicle said market research had shown there were a number of companies interested in funding the upgrade scheme.

“Through the MLP [market led proposal] process we have also done some testing for finance, and you have to take market testing with a pinch of salt, but there certainly was a lot of interest there for private finance,” she said.

As part of the upgrade, the existing timber southern concourse roof for the Network Rail station is due to be replaced with a new transparent ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) roof. In a bid to increase capacity a new platform 0 will also be built at the station.

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Readers' comments (4)

  • Philip Alexander

    Interesting that the Birmingham politicians don't seem to care a jot that the HS2 station (if it ever gets built, let's hope not) is miles away from New Street. What a stupid location. The sooner that it gets the chop, the better. Then the sensible people can start planning how to spend £100 billion on sensible projects which contribute to the prosperity of the whole country, not just a privileged few who will be able to afford to travel on HS2 and who, of course, are so important that they have to save 10 minutes travel time from London.
    Now Grayling is saying that HS2 Phase 2 is in doubt and the boss of HS2 is saying that without Phase 2, Phase 1 doesn't make any economic sense, it just demonstrates the sheer stupidity and vanity of this project.

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  • Philip, I get that you don't like HS2. However as Civil Engineers we have a duty to form opinions based on the facts and unfortunately your comment is littered with misinformation. It's not costing £100 billion; it's going to save over an hour on some journeys and it will be used by the same rail passengers who currently use intercity services between our major conurbations. If we dial down the purple prose on this perhaps there will be room for a sensible discussion.

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  • Michael Thorn

    We seriously need to have an intelligent debate about HS2 and national railway priorities. Twice this week, services on the mainline to Plymouth and Penzance have been suspended due to Southerly winds and high tides. This affects businesses far more than the saving of time on a short and reliable journey between London and Birmingham. When trains are running, it takes around 9h to travel by train from Truro to Liverpool or York. The billions anticipated for HS2 would be much better spent on upgrading the cross-country networks, Not every thing or everyone starts and ends in London.

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  • HS2 seems to be badly planned throughout, with inadequate connectivity where it is needed.
    A real re-design is needed, not tinkering at the edges. The HSUK proposal seems to be better thought out, at least in connectivity terms.
    It has the advantage also of not going through the Chiltern countryside.

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