Coherent and ambitious numbskullery
In July 2016, Leeds Chamber of Commerce released their report on ‘Maximising the Potential of the Yorkshire Hub and South Bank Leeds’.
President, Leeds Chamber of Commerce]
HS2 is now only part, albeit a major one, of the Yorkshire Hub story and to maximise the impact for jobs and growth we need to look at these projects as a set of integrated transport schemes that will help to achieve our long held aspirations for better connectivity. It is also vital to plan now, in advance of construction starting on HS2 and HS3, to ensure the city is ‘HS ready’ with connecting infrastructure considered, development opportunities showcased and delivery mechanisms explored.
HS2 Ltd ignored the exhortation – in the Chamber’s 2015 report – that the HS2 station in Leeds should be comprised of through platforms. In its July 2016 report, the Chamber proposed that there should be both the dead-end terminus recommended by David Higgins, and a link into the classic lines approching City station from the west. This ‘NPR Southeastern approach’ would allow HS2 services to stop at Leeds City, and then continue to the north east.
HS2 Ltd’s revised eastern leg planning is currently based on separate trains serving Leeds, Sheffield, and North East England. Routeing London to Newcastle-upon-Tyne HS2 trains via Leeds City and the ‘NPR southeastern approach’, would not make much sense. Who would the clientele be?
The NPR southeastern approach would also not allow a through Sheffield – Wakefield – Leeds – Bradford ‘Northern Powerhouse’ service, for example. Wakefield would not be served at all, and trains would have to reverse at Leeds station.
For a large fee, perhaps Arup could ‘help’, by proposing a Manchester-style 180-degree underground loop, like they put forward to the National Infrastructure Commission.