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.

Low Moor Railway Station – Update

We have received confirmation that the Rail Standards Safety Board have issued a ‘Certificate of Deviation’ for Low Moor.

The certificate of deviation is required so that the railway station can be built on the existing curve. – It would have been extremely costly to attempt to straighten the track in the area – effectively moving the curve. However due the presence of a high-pressure gas main, and the risks of old mine working, for these important safety reasons the station can now be built on a curve. – Normally a new station cannot be built on a curve.

Network Rail and Metro have undertaken site testing and confirmed that the pre-existing curve will not cause an excess gap between the train and the platform. – A major concern of curved platforms.

This major stumbling block has now been removed. Funding for the station is still short by £1.7m, but £5.5m remains ring fenced. The station is due to open in December 2015.

You can support the developments by joining BRUG (£3p/a), or the Friends of Low Moor Railway Station

Friends of Low Moor Railway Station

002StationLookingEast

Low Moor Station

The inaugural meeting of the “Friends of Low Moor Railway Station

Wednesday 27th February 2013 at 7pm

Victoria Park Bowling Club Hut
Cleckheaton Road, Oakenshaw, BD12 7AT

If you want to help with the re-opening of Low Moor station, please come along and lend your support.

£5.5 million of funding for the station is secure, but we need to help improve the business case the station to ensure that South Bradford gets its railway station back!

Bradford Council, Metro, Northern Rail and Network Rail all support the scheme. But we need the public’s support to help show the benefits this station will have to South Bradford & North Kirklees.

With public support the station could be open within 2 years!

For more information please follow @bradfordrug.

 

** The meeting is organised by the Bradford South Area Co-ordinator’s Office, Part of Bradford Council.

January 2013 Fair rises

The Department for Transport will allow train operators to raise fares by inflation (RPI) plus 3%. This could lead to fare rises of 6.2%.

Northern Rail and Metro will now work together to agree how the rise will be distributed across the fare structure.

BRUG will be contacting both organisations to campaign for a minimum increase following several years of doubled-up fare rises: RPI +3% + WY premium [BBC] which lead to a 10% fare rise last year.

The next meeting of BRUG is listed here.

10% fares increase in West Yorkshire

Rail fares in West Yorkshire will increase by 10% from January 2012.

There is the RPI plus 3% to all fares, plus. 2% leasing fee for the extra carriages due in December 2011.

BRUG are currently investigating how Metro were not aware of these increases and what fight was put up against the DfT to avoid them.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-14421508

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.

Low Moor – December 2013

WYITA / Metro have announced a push back Low Moor railway station completion date to December 2013.

Low Moor – Spending!

The WYITA today met to approve the payments of £53,000 for work undertaken in preparation for Low Moor Railway Station, the budget for the financial year 2010/11 is £850,000, with £4,597,000 planned spending in 2011/12. It appears that Low Moor might be finally on the way!

Complicated finance bit:
The new station is being funded by the West Yorkshire Strategic Programme of Schemes and not the from the Local Transport Plan (LTP) fund.

The LTP fund is designed for a road, bus, and rail spending. Low Moor station was already scheduled to be funded from LTP (£6,124,000). Moving it from LTP to WYSPS has saved this money, so the LTP’s overspend can instead by spend  on traffic management – £13million. (source here) a £28 million overspend.

DFT funding cuts affect carriages

Philip Hammond

Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Transport

As reported in the T&A, the Secretary of State for Transport has announced a suspension of purchasing new train carriages.

BRUG are obviously disappointed by the announcement, however we will lobby for the Department of Transport to reverse it’s decision, as stated in the NAO report, the PTE’s/ITA’s (Metro) are also strongly upset by the decision. They believe that their planning and their views have been disregarded.

However it is clear from the report that the previous Government and Network Rail have over specified the number of carriages:

The Office of Rail Regulation had specified that occupancy had to be reduced to 70% in Leeds, however Network Rail’s plan would have reduced occupancy to 59%.

BRUG will continue to push for improved rail services and capacity in Bradford and the West Yorkshire region. There is very limited capacity in Bradford and genuine demand for seats. We are campaigning for more seats and more capacity, not just wanting “nice looking trains”.

UPDATED: WYITA Meeting 26th March 2:30pm

The Bradford area passenger consultative committee will be meeting this Friday at City Hall.

Topics cover both bus and rail transport. Of specific interest will be plans to improve the facilities at Bradford Interchange: new canopy, new waiting room, and extra CCTV and lighting.

Low Moor will also discussed: The proposed plan will have 2 trains per hour from Low Moor to Leeds (via Bradford), 1 train to Mnachester Victoria and 1 train to Wakefield (both via Halifax).

Apperley Bridge station plans have been sent to the Department for Transport to be approved (and funded).

Please try attending the meeting if you can, otherwise look out for Will Kilner’s article in the Telegraph and Argus.

Updated link to T&A Article.

Rail fares to fall … except here

With inflation at -1.4%, rail fares should be fall by 0.4%. They are, except here in West Yorkshire, where they will be rising by 1.6% to “enable investment in additional trains in and around Leeds.”

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