Westfield – SOLD?

There are news reports today that the Broadway (Westfield) Development in Bradford City Centre has been sold to the retail developer Meyer Bergman. The community, with BRUG and local councillors have campaigned for the development of a Cross-Rail link including the site. It is not certain whether the changes to the site will require another planning permission, or when the council became aware of the change in ownership.

BRUG will continue to campaign for a Cross-Rail link in Bradford, both as a Plan A including the Westfield/Meyer Bergman retail development, (similar to the Frenchgate development in Doncaster), or Plan B in case this 4th Developer in 14 years falls-through.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/construction-property/article3571539.ece

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/9992518.Updated__Westfield_reported_to_have_sold_Broadway_shopping_scheme/

http://www.retail-week.com/property/westfield-sells-bradford-shopping-centre-site-to-meyer-berman/5041884.article

Bradford CrossRail both reports

In the interests of fairness and to allow easy press reporting, both the Council’s CrossRail report and the Majority (of members) Report are available here:

Council report into Bradford Cross Rail

Working Group – Majority Report

Both reports call for the council to investigate protecting the route of the railway, calls for the council to lobby for better rail in Bradford and for a quick, fast and efficient link to any future HS2 station.

We know Westfield is major stumbling block, but CrossRail IS the opportunity to get Bradford’s economy back “on-track”.

Thanks must go to all members of the Cross Rail working group (and their families) for the hours that have gone into campaigning for the link and preparing the reports.

Bradford Cross Rail Working Group – Majority Report

BradfordIt is here! The majority report from the Bradford Cross Rail Working Group.

The Cross Rail Link Scrutiny Report will be presented the Regeneration, Overview & Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 27th October at 5:30pm in City Hall.

We hope you will all be able to attend.

The McNulty Review

BRUG’s next meeting (6th June 2011) we will be discussing Sir Roy McNulty’s review into Rail Value for Money.

The full report is available here, and the summary here.

The meeting will also discuss the recent announcement of extra carriages on the Caldervale line and Airedale lines.

A brief update on the Cross Rail project will also be provided. An unusual viewhttp://www.flickr.com/people/neilt/ of Bradford – the potential for Cross Rail.

UKIP supporting Bradford Cross-Rail

BRUG Chair and UKIP Candidate in Urban Garden

J.Vasey and Jason Smith of UKIP in Urban Garden

BRUG Chairman James Vasey met with UKIP Candidate Jason Smith in the Urban Garden (Westfield development site) on Friday evening to discuss plans to develop a rail link across the city.

Mr Smith was impressed by the Cross Rail vision which would help revive the city centre as a cultural tourist destination and attract new businesses to the lower Broadway and little Germany quarter of the city.

BRUG discussed Bradford Council’s current plans to move the existing Magistrates court next to the current Crown Court, which would impede the building of the line. The Odeon was discussed as a possible site for the Magistrates court.

During our tour of the city centre we discussed the number of vacant properties between the Urban Gardens and the “mirror pool“, BRUG pointed out this would become the main thoroughfare from a central Bradford station direct to the mirror pool area, and the regeneration benefits this would have upon this part of the city.

Mr Smith discussed UKIP’s plans for Bradford, supporting strong improvements in public transport and making the best use of the existing buildings in Bradford, rather than the council building new buildings at public expense.

Jason Smith is standing for election in the Queensbury ward, a full list of candidates is available from here.

BRUG would like to speak to representatives from all political parties before the local elections.

Magistrates Court knocked back, Cross Rail On-Track!

Bradford’s Magistrates court move has been knocked back by the Regional Growth Fund. This means that the Cross Rail route is still safe.

We do not understand why the council are so wedded to the idea of moving the Magistrates court to be located directly next to the Crown Court. What costs will be reduced?

We already have a number of empty buildings in the city that are need of renovation, that are already in public ownership, surely it would be cheaper to renovate those (Can anyone think of a site near the existing Magistrates that is need of renovation?).

Why not renovate one of the most outstanding buildings and put the Magistrates Court into the Odeon? – It is a sensible use of an old building. Some people may even see the irony of the plan.

Accepting that Westfield is currently stalled, Cross Rail will give Westfield the opportunity to bring new business into the city and maybe kick-start the project (The White Rose doesn’t have a railway station, Meadowhall does – which is more successful?). Westfield have even paid for Railway connections at their other centres. Bradford Council even have the authority to change the planning permission to increase the viability of Westfield. (Section 106A, Town & Country Planning Act 1990)

We need to spend this election season convincing prospective councillors of the benefits of Bradford CrossRail.

A regeneration project in Bradford that can provide employment in the city and access to employment across Yorkshire.

We will be speaker to prospective councillors in Bradford to ascertain their views.

Cross Rail Task Force

Bradford Council’s Scrutiny Committee have agreed to form a task force to investigate the possibility of protecting the route between Bradford Interchange and Bradford Forster Square.

Cllr Sykes, Thornton & Allerton

Cllr Sykes

The committee chaired by Cllr Sykes (pictured), agreed to forming a task-force following a packed meeting on Thursday 3rd February 2011.

The task-force will also investigate the options for Cross-Rail.

BRUG support the founding of this task force and will support its work.

Cross Rail Progress

This month has seen two highly productive Cross Rail meetings in Bradford. Come along to the next BRUG meeting (October 4th), to find out more. – Progress is being made!

Cllr Pennington on Radio Leeds.

BBC Radio Leeds.Cllr Pennington has been speaking on Radio Leeds today (26/07/10) talking to Steve Bailey about the plans for an across Bradford rail link.

BRUG remain confident the Cross Rail plan is deliverable and affordable.

Cross-Rail Aerial map

Where would the Cross Rail line go?

Have a look at the Google aerial map here

Cross Rail – Feasible!

Mr Mac Ruairi

As we already knew, the regeneration department, led by Mr Mac Ruairi, have finally stated that Cross Rail is feasible!

Though it is also expensive, (we knew that), and there is no money (again, we knew that)

We were told that we needed to concentrate on Westfield, – we agree but Westfield would be in a better position with Cross Rail than without.

BRUG is continuing to campaign for the Cross Rail link. The link will provide fresh transport opportunities and real regeneration. Much better than a water pool.

Next meeting 2nd August 2010.

Director of PACE plc: backing Cross Rail

In comments to the BDO Stoy Hayward Yorkshire Report conference reported in the T&A, Stuart Hall, Chief Financial Officer of Saltaire based Pace PLC gave his backing to Bradford Cross Rail.

Cross Rail (X-Rail) – big quote soon!

The next meeting of the Bradford Rail Users’ Group will be held on Monday 7th June 2010, at 7.30pm at the Bradford Voluntary and Community Services, Sunbridge Road, Bradford.

We hope to have some big quotes to be able to provide on the website over this weekend!

Cross Rail (X-Rail) – The Campaign

There have been many letters in the Telegraph & Argus in the last few days supporting the idea of the Cross Rail (X-Rail) link between the two Bradford stations. It has also been interesting reading those opposing the scheme – and their reasons!

We would like to ask everyone to write to their local Bradford Councillors (you have 3) and tell them you support the scheme and ask them to support the scheme in the council.

If you live outside of Bradford write to your local councillor (links at the bottom of the article) and tell them how X-Rail will improve not just Bradford but your local area as well. We will need support from across West Yorkshire to develop the X-rail scheme.

Our local MPs also need to support the scheme, find your MP here. You can write a letter or an email to push them to support the X-Rail plan.

We will have more information about the Cross-Rail (X-Rail) plan at our meeting on the 7th June 2010, address details here.

Councillor Information:

Calderdale, Leeds, Kirklees,  Wakefield

Cross Rail – The Petition

Sign the petition, the statement is short and simple: “I support the proposal for Cross Rail link in Bradford“.

Cross Rail (X-Rail) in Bradford

The plans are out, many of Bradford’s MPs support it. Will this now be the time for Bradford Cross Rail (X-Rail)?

The plans outlined here, followed up on Saturday here.

BRUG Chairman James Vasey,  speaking in the Telegraph & Argus:

It’s a very well planned proposal which has taken time, effort and money. It’s something the rail users’ group supports because it would be a new hub for transport in Bradford.

“We know we’re in a tight [financial] situation nationally, but if we can come back with a regeneration argument there will still be money around.

In the next few days, we will be gauging more opinion and expressions of support will be sought and published at our next meeting.

Previous suggestions for Cross Rail (X-Rail) have included a link between the two stations (similar to Manchester Piccadilly – Oxford Road). Arguments against those who think the scheme would be unsightly, please read this previous article.

A full presentation of the plans will be discussed at our next meeting: 7th June 2010, 7:30pm at Bradford CVS, Sunbridge Road, Bradford

The Case for Cross-Rail in Bradford

In the Telegraph and Argus letters to the editor, Mr Morris wrote that there was not a need for an across Bradford Rail-Link.

Our response is available published in the T&A, and in full here: Continue reading

How will our architectural legacy be judged?

Not directly a rail article, but the Westfield development is a blot to many projects in Bradford including CrossRail. This article by Will Gompertz was tucked away on the BBC site about City Centre Architecture and the recession, where Bradford still has our hole, Leeds developers went ahead and did something:

BBC Website Link

John Poulson has a lot to answer for!

CrossRail support builds!

Councillor Pennington

Councillor Pennington, (Con) Bingley

In an article on improving tourism to Bradford, Councillor Pennington stated his aspiration for an across Bradford rail link. Continue reading

Vital rail links must not suffer from cuts

Published in the Telegraph & Argus (Friday 19th February 2010)

SIR – Cuts to the Local Transport Plan (T&A, February 16) will surely be of great worry to anyone who uses public transport.

The residents of Low Moor will be obviously worried to see if the proposed cuts will again try hold them back from the new railway station they desperately need.

The public should be campaigning vigorously for LTP funding to be maintained. You cannot have a healthy economy (which we all strive to get back to) built on dilapidated roads and rails!

The Bradford Rail Users’ Group will be fighting hard to ensure funding for Low Moor railway station isn’t cut, and to fight for a cross-Bradford rail link to improve journey times and significantly reduce pressure on the ring road.

James Vasey. Chairman Bradford Rail Users’ Group.

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