Bradford Forster Square Refurbishment

£15million has been secured by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to refurbish Bradford Forster Square railway station. (Article in the T&A)

The construction is due to start in 2018 with an estimated completion in 2021.

BRUG has complained that the access to the station has let the station down for many years, the stairwell and lifts close early on an evening, which means that access to the station from the city centre is via the dark cobbled footpath, which is often dark, and creates a perception of risk, which deters evening use of the station.

The plans will be discussed at the next BRUG meeting: 4th March 2016 at the Bradford Community and Voluntary Services.

Car Park, view from the HMRC building

Aerial view of the station and lift access from Cheapside and proposed meadow.

Platform view with new wooden platform canopies

View of the proposed meadow

Glazed Atrium over the lift entrance and station coffee shop

Waiting Rooms and Toilets

Plans of the refurbished station

Plans of the refurbished station

From what we have seen of the plans, this is an ambitious plan to re-develop Bradford Forster Square railway station, and we would like to invite the Council and Combined Authority to meet with us and discuss their proposals further.

“We are concerned that Bradford Interchange was not selected as their prime redevelopment station, it is a life expired station with a huge potential due to the upcoming redevelopment of the Caldervale line, new trains and new destinations. But all high quality investment in the Bradford stations is to be welcomed.

Station Entrance

The station re-development at Forster Square is cosmetic, but welcomed, the old lift and stairwell will be replaced with two open frame lift shafts. – Though we note no walking route, potentially through the meadow, is proposed.

There is also no planned retail/station (ticketing) offer on the Cheapside Entrance (or a wood & glass canopy), which we would like to have seen – We need to really ‘shout about’ the station directly below and draw passengers in.

Pod Shops

The ‘pods’ that will installed under the archways will be a welcome development, and we would encourage the council the consider deploying more along the route to the Midland Hotel making the most use of the available archways and a wonderful welcome as people enter the city and Broadway.

Evening Staffing / Access to waiting rooms / Toilets etc
We are concerned that the toilets and waiting room capacity could be limited and locked too early on an evening, we would hope that staffing at the station was extended in the evening to ensure these facilities, along with the coffee shop were open late into the evening, – coinciding with other facilities in the city – so that those leaving the theatres on an evening aren’t greeted with a dark (cold) station.
What more can we ask for?
We are interested to hear from the council what plans they have for the use of the station forecourt (including the pedestrian area). – With such a large forecourt it might have been possible to extend the retail / non-commercial offer for the station
We would have liked to have seen a secondary access to the station from Hamm Strasse – The existing centre platforms extend to Hamm Strasse and it would have been an additional way to bring passengers on to the station. We would hope that the Bike Hubs were extended throughout the city to encourage cycling in the city. Further we would like the station to have a greater connections with the bus network. We will be discussing the development plans at our next meeting on the 4th April and invite councillors and WYCA to attend.
Overall, we think that the development is extremely welcome, we would ask that station is equipped (and operated) with ticket barriers at all times to reduce fare evasion.

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.

Extra Bradford Trains!

The Department for Transport is to redeploy 5 trains to West Yorkshire to help reduce over crowding.

The 5 new trains are Class 322, which are being redeployed from Scotland once the Class 380’s are introduced. The existing diesels that supplement the electric trains on the Airedale and Wharedale lines will be redeployed to the Caldervale line.

We have not yet had confirmation if the units will be refurbished before they are introduced onto the West Yorkshire network.

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.

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 (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“.

Problems on the Airedale line

Commuters between Shipley and Skipton suffered long delays this morning due to a broken down train near Bingley.

Many commuters expressed their frustration at not being provided timely information: – Read more for quotes Continue reading

Clive’s Cartoon

In an interview with the Will Kilner at the Telegraph and Argus, Clive Barton (BRUG’s first chairman) talked about the history of coastal services from Bradford including Skegness and Scarborough. Clive put the case for running new services to these coastal resorts. Not only was the article printed yesterday, they also drew a cartoon!

Bradford is a key route!

From Modern Railways January 2010 (p10):
Network Rail and train operators say they aim to offer a rail journey in almost all circumstances between key stations.

The aim to reduce the amount of time rail is unavailable due to engineering works and to reduce the use rail-replacement services.
Leeds – Bradford is part of the 20 key-routes.

“East Coast” to replace NXEC this Friday

East Coast TOC logoNXEC 9th December 2007 – 13th November 2009.

 

“Take the National Express when your life’s in a mess” – Divine Comedy

If it wasn’t true, it would be funny! National Express East Coast is to be returned to public ownership for their failure to pay the premium they agreed to in 2007, (which was higher than the previous operator GNER … failed to pay the premium they agreed to in 2005) – all patterns noticed are purely co-incidental.

From the 14th November 2009 ECML services will be operated by the Government. (London bound services from Skipton, Shipley, Bradford Forster Square, Keighley and Leeds) Continue reading

29th October – Airedale Cancellations

Rail services were delayed this morning due to a signal failures in Armley. Passengers from Shipley and stations to Skipton had to wait up-to one hour before a North/West-bound service was sent from Forster Square up-to Skipton.  The first services departing Shipley towards Skipton didn’t leave until 8:05am (from Forster Square). – an hours delay.

Leeds bound commuters had the option of travelling in coaches from Shipley, or via Forster Square and then walking upto the Interchange to catch the Leeds trains.

These problems would be over-come by Bradford Crossrail! or as we now also call it: The Armley Junction bypass!

Y&H Rail Utilisation Strategy

The Yorkshire and Humber rail utilisation strategy was released mid-July 2009. At 148 pages and with a large number of appendices it would be almost impossible to provide a critique on the full document, therefore, this post will concentrate on the issues affecting the Airedale and Caldervale lines, (those that have the most effect on Bradford).

Continue reading

NXEC to be nationalised

The Secretary of State for Transport, Lord Adonis, confirmed this morning to the BBC and in parliament that NXEC is to be taken into public ownership after admitting that it will be unable to make it’s premium payments. Continue reading

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