When I heard the figure of £98m that was being bandied about about the cost, I wasn’t sure if it was expensive or …
… but it turns out it only refers to the cost of linking the airport to the Leeds-Harrogate rail line via two spurs, and doesn’t include any rail link from the airport to a line running in to Bradford.
What Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew said during the debate was that he was advocating that the airport be linked to the Leeds-Harrogate line as “stage 1”.
“I had a meeting with the airport last week; the Horsforth spur that I suggested would cost some £50 million, and the Harrogate spur would cost an extra £25 million to £30 million. With all the other costs that would be added, the total is some £98 million,” he said.
It’s not clear where Mr Andrew got his figures from.
There was no mention during the debate of any “stage 2”, where it might go or what it might cost.
But a pledge of sorts on the Bradford connection did come from Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland on Twitter on Wednesday evening:
Does Messrs Andrew (Tory) and Mulholland’s (Lib-Dem) phased approach have the backing and blessing of the Labour-run councils in Leeds and Bradford?
Curious, though, that the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (the people who are supposed to make all the big transport decisions in the region) have left it to two local MPs to make the announcement for them.
This one is going to run and run.
Airport rail link completists! You can read the whole debate here online in Hansard. They only finished talking around 5pm Wednesday evening and it was online three hours later. Not bad.
Cheers to @StuartLong01 for pointing me to it.