Judith today questioned the Prime Minister, David Cameron, about the future of Bradford’s regional rail links.
During the Prime Minister’s weekly question time, Judith pressed the Prime Minister about the future of Bradford’s regional rail links, asking: “Given the strategic and economic importance of the M62 corridor to the Northern Power House, can the Prime Minister give me and the people of Bradford his commitment to the electrification of the Calder Valley Line and lend his support for the great city of Bradford to be a fundamental part of the proposed Northern Powerhouse Rail.”
In response, David Cameron said “ We have made commitments on electrification in terms of North South lines and indeed East West lines. I will have to look very carefully at the proposal that she makes, but we want everywhere, Bradford included, to benefit from the Northern Powerhouse.”
Speaking afterwards, Judith commented: “I hope David Cameron today heard Bradford loud and clear, and Central Government will soon offer a concrete commitment to improving regional rail links to Bradford in the near future. I will continue to press Central Government until the Prime Minister offers the city of Bradford this important pledge.”
The future of Bradford’s regional rail links has drawn support from leading voices across Bradford, including Bradford Council and importantly the Bradford business community. United behind Judith in her campaign, West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, which includes Bradford, Leeds, York & North Yorkshire, energetically backed her call.
Bradford Chamber’s President, Andy Caton, a director with Yorkshire Building Society, said “We’re pleased to see that Judith is making her voice heard in Parliament on the key issue of whether or not Bradford will be included on the route of HS3. We believe that it is crucial to Bradford and West Yorkshire’s future growth and development that the line comes to the city. We don’t have a fast-track across the Pennines, the Calder Vale line still awaits electrification, and we wait to see how the city will benefit from HS2. Furthermore, the proposed surface access improvements to the airport (a new road and a parkway station near Horsforth) favour Leeds more than Bradford. So, it’s essential that the city does not miss out in this latest development to better connect cities across the north of England. When we talk about rolling out the Northern Powerhouse, this is what we mean – improving transport infrastructure has to be at the top of the list.”
Business leaders and politicians in Bradford are continuing the push to make sure the city is on the Government’s promised high-speed rail network. The Chamber is taking a strong lead on several transport issues in recent months, including HS2 (north-south) and HS3 (east-west), the airport’s strategic growth plan and improvements to motorways in the region. It is planning to talk to Transport for the North, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Bradford Council and the city’s other MPs to maximise lobbying on the subject.
During her time as Bradford South’s MP, since May of last year, Judith has been making her voice heard in Parliament on several issues, with transport, education and the future of the National Media Museum being most prominent. Judith concluded “Bradford’s future is bright, but only if we solve a number of big challenges, including improving education standards, safeguarding our internationally recognised National Media Museum, but importantly, improving regional rail links so business can continue to grow in the city.”