Leeds Bradford Airport access improvements

Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority are working with partners, including Bradford Council and Leeds Bradford Airport on surface transport improvements for Leeds Bradford Airport, ensuring that it can play a key role in enabling regional economic growth.

The need for improved access to the airport has long been an aim for us. Leeds Bradford Airport already contributes more than £336m annually to the regional economy and is forecast to see passenger numbers increase from 4 million last year to 7.1 million by 2030.

Transport improvement options

In 2015-16 we held a public consultation on three options to address current congestion issues and to support the future growth of the airport. Funding for the options comes from the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund.

An indicative outline map of the options is shown below.

Option A

Building of a new road and footway/cycleway from the A65, running along the eastern edge of the airport before joining the A658 to the north.

Option B

Building a new road and footway/cycleway that follows the same initial path from the A65 but runs to the south west of the airport before joining the A658 where it enters the tunnel under the runway.

Option C

Upgrading the existing A65 and A658 around Rawdon and Yeadon to the airport. This would see junctions upgraded and where needed, some localised road widening to deliver the junction improvements.

Progress since the initial consultation

The initial consultation focussed on road access improvements as the most appropriate short to medium term measure. We have taken into account comments from the initial consultation and fed comments into the plans. As a result considerable progress has been made on technical work to present more detail around the three options.

Proposals for an airport parkway rail station are being developed as part of the Leeds Public Transport Investment Package (LPTIP) and we will be asking for feedback on the parkway plans, alongside the highway proposals in 2019. We are pleased that a rail link may be developed sooner than originally anticipated but it does not remove the need for road access improvements in order to manage the expected growth in passenger numbers. Manchester Airport, for example demonstrates that even where there are dedicated train and tram links, 75% of passengers still arrive by car or taxi (Manchester Airport Master Plan’s Ground Transport Plan, 2016). Over 60% of Leeds Bradford Airport’s departing passengers use a private car to get to the airport (Leeds Bradford Airport, Strategic Development Plan, 2017).

Other themes emerging from the Phase 1 Consultation include but are not limited to:

  • concerns over existing congestion and rat-running on local roads
  • detailed design concerns
  • environmental impacts of the proposals

What happens next

In early 2019 we are going to be consulting on the three road proposals with more detail and on the new parkway station. The road options will be the same but we will be asking for feedback as a lot more technical and design details have been added. Your feedback will guide the future development of the scheme. We will be hosting several consultation events throughout the Leeds district (and wider area). The Phase 1 Consultation report is being finalised and will be published when the next round of consultation opens.

There are also plans to create a Leeds Bradford Airport employment hub north of the airport. Consisting of around 36 hectares of land, the hub will attract investment from business, add up to £3.3 billion to Leeds’ economy and create over 10,000 jobs by 2030.

Further details can be found in the Executive Board Report.

Once the consultation is closed the feedback will be analysed and an outline business case developed. The outline business case will be presented to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to consider further funding to enable the project to progress. The LBA Parkway Station outline business case will be considered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority separate from the Link Route proposals.

Potential effects of the proposals

Transport

Apart from improving road access to the airport, which is likely to generate more traffic as it continues to grow, the options aim to reduce existing issues caused by peak-time congestion by helping to filter vehicles either along the new link road or more effectively along a wider and improved A65/A658. The Parkway Station will also increase the transport mode choice available in north west Leeds. A new off-highway cycle route will also be provided.

Property

If we think your property will be affected by any of the proposals we will discuss it with you.

Any effects on property prices won’t be known until a preferred option has been chosen. Detailed discussions would take place with property owners likely to be affected. Should the option to upgrade the existing A65/A658 be selected there could be an impact on properties at the roadside, especially if road widening measures were identified as essential to deliver the junction improvements. Procedures for compensation in the event of property devaluation are in place as stated by Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act.

Keep updated with this project

If you wish to be kept updated and would like to be placed our mailing list, please confirm by emailing ConnectingLBA@leeds.gov.uk with the subject Leeds Bradford Airport Access Improvements.

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LBA Overview Planhttps://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/LBA Overview Plan.pdf15473729pdf

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