Scheme backed by £2.5bn from central government

Plans for a tram system between Leeds and Bradford have been set out by the region’s mayor. 

Central government has committed £2.5bn investment to the mass transit system and it is hoped that construction might begin in 2028. 


Source: WYCA

Illustration of the proposal for a Leeds tram

The first phase would include a Leeds Line, taking people between St James’ Hospital through the city centre and onto Elland Rose and the White Rose Shopping Centre, while the Bradford Line would run between the two city centres.  

It is hoped that future phases would reach other areas such as Kirklees, Wakefield and Calderdale. A £1 million Mass Transit development fund will be set aside to support the Dewsbury Line Development Project. Exact routes will be subject to public consultation. 

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is expected to approve a strategic outline case next week when it holds its final meeting before May’s mayoral election. This will then by sent by mayor Tracy Brabin to the Department of Transport for approval.  

Brabin said the outline case was “a major step forward towards the biggest infrastructure project West Yorkshire has seen since the development of the motorways six decades ago”. 

“This will be transformational for the North, helping our communities to thrive and our economy to flourish - benefitting generations to come with greater opportunity and prosperity,” she said. 

“We know that mass transit systems have successfully helped to regenerate areas right across the country by boosting connectivity, opportunity and prosperity – and we will work tirelessly to make sure that happens here in West Yorkshire.” 

It comes days after the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities published its ‘A Vision For Leeds’ document, drawn up in conjunction with the city council and combined authority, which outlines its proposals for the city.  

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Under this vision, a new Leeds Transformational Regeneration Partnership will bring together national, regional and local government to deliver the Leeds vision and unlock the delivery of up to 20,000 new homes. 

Plans for regeneration include six key city centre neighbourhoods, including Mabgate, Eastside and Hunslet Riverside, South Bank, Holbeck, West End Riverside and the Innovation Arc. 

According to DLUHC, were Leeds productivity levelled up to the UK average, £3bn would be added to the UK economy each year.