The Chamber of Trade’s proposed new Leeds Bradford International Airport (LBIA) Parkway Station on the Harrogate line has been dismissed by a government sponsored study.
An Option Assessment Report into ‘substantially improving’ the connectivity and accessibility of LBIA rejected the proposal on the ground that an ‘interchange’ between the train and the shuttle bus to the Terminal was not recommended.
Instead, consultants WSP and Parsons Brinckerhoff have recommended a long term heavy rail link from Guiseley to LBIA to Horsforth should be taken forward for detailed design as well as a short term link road to the airport from the A65.
The report stated: “The assessment of options involving interchange (i.e. the parkway station and a self-contained rail shuttle involving interchange at Horsforth and/or Guiseley) do not give a positive economic assessment and are not recommended to be progressed.
“The parkway station is really only likely to be attractive to airport users, as most employees from a local catchment are likely to find the existing bus services more convenient.
“As such, the benefits are restricted to this group and benefits will be spread over a wide area, but only at a very low level.”
However, Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce have challenged the Consultants’ report and recommendations, arguing their proposed new station is ‘an easily achievable solution at a much lower cost.’
Brian Dunsby, Chamber Chief Executive, said: “The decision to omit a proposal for a combined airport/park and ride station on the existing Harrogate rail line with a short hop shuttle bus service to the terminal is flawed.
“The use of buses within airports and adjoining facilities is commonplace world-wide and this does not influence passenger choice whether or not to use an airport.
“Building the proposed LBIA Parkway Station will be very beneficial to the airport whilst also serving all the residents and businesses in north-west Leeds and the hundreds of thousands visitors to Leeds, Harrogate and York, whether for business or leisure.”
“In terms of straightforward governance of the deployment of public funds, the self-sustaining Harrogate line option will be massively lower in terms of both capital expenditure and ongoing operating expenditure.”
Would you use the Leeds - Harrogate - York line to travel to Leeds Bradford Airport if a station was installed?