Electrification of trans-Pennine rail
Cllr Peter McBride – our Cabinet member for regeneration has welcomed news that work is to restart on electrification of the trans-Pennine rail line as “a truly transformational opportunity”.
Cllr McBride said that the area now has to make the most of the opportunity to improve Huddersfield and Dewsbury and encourage further investment.
“The decision to continue re-electrification is perhaps the most important thing that could happen to Kirklees, and in particular our two main towns of Huddersfield and Dewsbury.
“The trans-Pennine line is the key rail link joining Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, York, Hull, Middlesbrough and Newcastle.
“It enables 18,000 Kirklees residents to work in Leeds, and 12,000 to work in Manchester, and the fact that all trains stop in Huddersfield and half in Dewsbury gives us extraordinary access to the heart of the northern economy – what government calls the Northern Powerhouse.
“When government stopped the programme, there was a serious danger that this main route might be transferred to the Calderdale line by-passing Kirklees completely, or that a new line connecting Leeds and Manchester would be built with fast trains not stopping between the two cities at all.”
“It is the opportunity to get platform 9 and the railway warehouse at Huddersfield opened, which will reshape the town centre. It will also give confidence for investment in Dewsbury, which is the literal centre point of West Yorkshire.
“It means that six trains an hour will complete Huddersfield to Leeds in 15 minutes, and Dewsbury to Leeds in 10. Also Huddersfield to Manchester in 25 minutes, Dewsbury to Manchester in 30.
“We will now press the Combined Authority to exploit the benefits of platform 9 and to relocate the bus station in Dewsbury closer to the rail station.
“This opportunity is truly transformational.”