A planned park and ride scheme in New Pudsey Rail Station is at “high risk” of running beyond its funding deadline, a report has revealed, writes Richard Beecham.
Work to the station, including increased parking, had been proposed by West Yorkshire Combined Authority as part of its Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme.
The Authority, which oversees major transport projects across the region, said the scheme “would increase the opportunity for park and ride and would enhance connectivity to, from and within West Yorkshire.”
The work, estimated to cost around £5 million, would be paid for through Growth Deal funding, which has to be spent by March 2021. It would have led to the station’s car park almost doubling in size.
However, a recent report to the Combined Authority has revealed that there is a “high risk” that the work at Pudsey will not be delivered before that date, and the money allocated to the scheme may have to be “re-profiled” to other transport schemes.
Transport bosses are in the process of speaking with the Government to establish what needs to be done to keep the plans on track.
The Transport Investment Programme involves funding from the Department for Transport and the Combined Authority funds of up to £173.5 million. The funding programme opened in 2017 and has to be completed by 2021.
The report, which is going before the West Yorkshire and York Investment Committee on Thursday, says “issues” around the delivery of the scheme had arisen between the Authority, Network Rail, and Northern Rail, and these issues would push the delivery beyond the March 2021 date.
It says there are also issues involving the delivery of the Rail Accessibility Programme, a scheme to create “step free access” from the station entry point through to the platform edge at Cross Gates, Horsforth and Morley rail stations.
The report to the committee says:
“The Rail Accessibility Programme and New Pudsey Park and Ride are now both at high risk for delivering beyond the end of the programme. Issues have arisen through the delivery of the schemes through Network Rail and Northern which have pushed delivery beyond April 2021.
“The Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme programme manager is in discussion with the Department for Transport on how this could be accommodated, or if the allocated spend will have to be re-profiled to other schemes.
“A meeting was held with DfT in October and options for end of programme spend are being discussed; a report on this issue will be submitted to DfT in due course.
“The outcome of these discussions will determine how the end of programme spend is profiled and which elements may continue at risk.
“The programme is being carefully monitored to ensure that spend profiles are maintained and the programme is fully allocated.
“Additional match funding from other sources is also being investigated to enable delivery of some of the over-programmed elements. The outcome of the negotiations with DfT could impact on the necessity to spend before the end of the programme.”
Other schemes proposed as part of the Programme include a rail station at the White Rose Shopping Centre. And details of a planned parkway at Leeds Bradford Airport will also be revealed before the end of the year.