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Discussion Starter #1
Some have argued Leeds-Bradford airport's location is no good for most of West Yorkshire and it is too small for West Yorkshire Urban area to compete with other regions. In my opinion there should be an entirely new airport built, located more in the geographic centre of West Yorkshire, for example south west Leeds or north Kirklees
 

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It's hard to answer the question without defining what it's 'purpose' is supposed to be. If we're talking about an airport that could compete with somewhere like Liverpool as a strong, northern low-cost base, then there isn't a strong enough business case for a new site. If we're talking about an airport that can compete with Manchester as a northern long-haul / business airport, then I think the business case flawed.

Personally (I've said on another thread), LBAs strength is as a low-cost airport. It's always going to struggle to be anything more than this not because of geography, but because of economy.

BA aren't interested in operations that don't feed into London, likewise KLM with Amsterdam, etc. Other airlines would sooner operate from Manchester where there is better connectivity, better facilities, more capacity and, I suspect, a bigger catchment area for business and long-haul flights.

LBA has suffered from decades of underinvestment and it still has its flaws but, despite this, it has managed to build a respectable low-cost network. I think it's probably wise to work on that.
 

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The problem with this is that there is sparse area that is 1) largely flat enough to house one or more runways and 2) not urban or in extreme close proximity to an urban area in order to avoid political mayhem.

Personally I see no reason to move the airport, and I think many are seeing the issue the wrong way round. The problem isn't where LBA is located, not even runway capacity, rather it is the terminal capacity and transport that links to it - or lack there of. That being said, by rail LBA is not too far away for a spur (as been mentioned previously on many occasions).

The location you specify as being central of WY would only possibly lead to an area between Gildersome, New Farnley, Churwell and the Wortley area - though I doubt even this is flat enough to locate a single and long enough runway. However I believe this would be reliant on people moving via the M62, congesting an already congested motorway.

Best chance for a new airport is east of Leeds, possibly near (or on) the Sherburn and Elmet Aerodrome - though you could argue that this is too far from Leeds and other major urban areas (even further away from Bradford and Huddersfield, residents of which may even decide to use Manchester Airport as a result of extended commute).

To me there's no need to look for new airport locations within the county, simply adapt and build on what we already have at LBA. For me, train links into Leeds City is essential for it to grow and prosper as a regional serving airport with road links unlikely to improve.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't think you quite understand the scale of the problem, LBA is virtually inaccessible for most in West Yorkshire and indeed I already know people in places like Wakefield and Kirklees who find it easier to go to Manchester airport. At its current location it only serves Leeds and Bradford. In the long term this is disastrous for West Yorkshire and indeed Yorkshire as a whole, as the leader of Kirklees council has already said, London sees Manchester as the airport of the north:

http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/kirklees-leader-inaccessibility-leeds-bradford-6176981

If Leeds council continues to stick its head in the sand it it will be a looming disaster for Yorkshire, we've already seen a billion pound chinese investment in manchester airport
 

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On the scale of things, Manchester is pretty much the airport of the north, and that's partly why LBA will probably never become very big. I don't think anyone has the appetite to try to expand it much where it is, and the cost to build an entirely new one would be so astronomical I would think the proximity of Manchester would make it economically unviable.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The main problem though is its inaccessibility. The current location isn't sustainable in the long term, it no longer serves most of West Yorkshire. It doesnt even serve parts of Leeds, being 11 miles from Leeds and 20 miles from parts of south Leeds, never mind the fact that people in Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield have no hope of getting to it. And with HS2 as well, the transport infrastructure of West Yorkshire is only going to get worse
 

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Surely building a new airport for West Yorkshire has to be a political and economic non-starter considering the huge cost regarding opposition to such a new airport and huge expense that a new airport will cost will make such a relocation of Leeds Bradford Airport a waste. Surely such a new site for a West Yorkshire Airport would really need to have been built most probably in between 1945 and 1970 i'd have thought when the political and economic mood was different regarding big infrastructure projects even though most airports in the UK have origins dating back to wartime airbases.

Personally speaking, I would have thought improved road and rail transport links to Leeds Bradford Airport would really need promoting such as the long proposed rail and road links to LBA which are just talked about even though something needs doing considering the likes of Yeadon, Rawdon and Horsforth are becoming increasingly congested partially as a result of increased airport traffic.

Also couldn't the existing Leeds Bradford Airport buses be extended from Bradford to Brighouse, Huddersfield and Halifax whereas airport buses to Leeds could be extended to Wakefield, Castleford and Pontefract although I guess such buses would be too slow and take to long to be of any use considering the use of onward connections by rail to other West Yorkshire towns and cities.
 

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Other airlines would sooner operate from Manchester where there is better connectivity, better facilities, more capacity and, I suspect, a bigger catchment area for business and long-haul flights.
There's only a bigger catchment area to Manchester because of the transport networks. If you could get trains direct to Leeds from the north, and motorways connected Leeds, it would have a competitive catchment.

I agree about the rest though. The reality is that it's not fit for purpose. It will never be able to host a range of long haul flights, which does present a major problem for Leeds' aspirations as a world city. We can certainly reach our potential as an important European city with LBA, but that's about as far as it can get.

Anyway, I don't think anything is going to change. There are too many airports in the north as it is, and who would fund a new airport? I suppose the best hope would be for a private investor to develop an airfield east of Leeds.

We missed the boat on European funding after they funded Doncaster airport.
 

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I echo the sentiments of all the previous posts. It is a shame, possibly lack of ambition on the part of media/business, that the North should just have one real international airport such as Manchester. Being the most populous area of the England and also biggest (I'm sure there is statistic to back that up somewhere) I would have thought one isn't enough although I understand this is down to London centric economic policies. Once again the down to the subconscious stereotype of the North being backward I guess. If an airport was to be built would be great if LBA could operate as a short haul base for family holidays to Spain etc and a new airport built to predominantly cater for long haul flights to further destinations for business/pleasure. This would also give the region a USP in that it would have 2 airport catering for different purposes stopping catching dreaded family flights for a long haul airport where delays are more likely e.g Heathrow. If I was to pick an area i'd agree with Yorkshire Boy on the Sherburn area, close to M1/A1 not far from M62 and could also possibly build it to have a station with existing lines and with potential for HS2 link from Church Fenton nearby. I think something like this is critical to unlock the areas economic potential as unfortunately without international links on your doorstep the Skyscrapers etc will never come to fruition.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I agree about the rest though. The reality is that it's not fit for purpose. It will never be able to host a range of long haul flights, which does present a major problem for Leeds' aspirations as a world city. We can certainly reach our potential as an important European city with LBA, but that's about as far as it can get.
Not only lack of major airport, but I think the transport infrastructure across the whole LCR is too poor for Leeds to become a world city. I think the money spent on HS2 could be better spent creating an integrated transport system throughout Leeds that connects with the whole of West Yorkshire and Leeds City Region.
 

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The main problem though is its inaccessibility. The current location isn't sustainable in the long term, it no longer serves most of West Yorkshire. It doesnt even serve parts of Leeds, being 11 miles from Leeds and 20 miles from parts of south Leeds, never mind the fact that people in Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield have no hope of getting to it. And with HS2 as well, the transport infrastructure of West Yorkshire is only going to get worse
But Kirklees is what? 30 miles along a motorway from Manchester airport, I'd call that an accessible airport. Not everybody can have an airport 5 mins from their door........................................like me. :)
 

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Perhaps the key to Leeds having access to a first class airport is most likely to be the proposed upgrade of the Transpennine Express with fast and regular services to Manchester Airport, backed up by the most popular bulk services at LBA. Not necesarily the answer we would like but there wouldn't be scope for another large (30m pass/year) airport within 30-40 miles of an existing one.
 

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That is one option, but the problem with that option is accepting that Leeds will always be second to Manchester.

When we're trying to attract inward investment and international business, if the line is 'Manchester Airport is only 1 hour away', then that's essentially saying 'go to Manchester instead'.

Unless Leeds can excel in another area that makes it leagues above Manchester so that business is attracted here despite the lack of a major international airport, LBA will always be a hindrance for the city.
 

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Why do people have this very naive and warped view that if you build a 'more adequate' airport then they will come?

Ditto the Boris Island proposal.
 

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Perhaps the key to Leeds having access to a first class airport is most likely to be the proposed upgrade of the Transpennine Express with fast and regular services to Manchester Airport, backed up by the most popular bulk services at LBA. Not necesarily the answer we would like but there wouldn't be scope for another large (30m pass/year) airport within 30-40 miles of an existing one.
I use this when flying to non LBA destinations. It's slow, noisy and often dirty, but what a service! You arrive right at the escalator to take you ino the terminal.
 

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The manchester airport service has been awful every time I've used it from leeds. It's always been crammed full - at point I even skipped two trains in favour of waiting on the platform as peoples were pushing each other to fit in the doors. Plus the trains I went on had next to no storage space for luggage which is surely a must on an airport train.
 

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The proposed upgrade should transform it into a first class and fast rail link.

Electrified train lines to cut TransPennine journey times



Train journey times between Leeds and Manchester are to be cut under plans to electrify the North TransPennine Express rail route. The TransPennine route connects Leeds with Manchester and the North West.

The Leeds to Manchester journey will be cut from an hour to 45 minutes, in plans expected to be announced in the government's Autumn Statement. George Osborne is expected to outline £30bn of private and public money to be spent on 40 road and rail projects.

Parts of the Leeds to York track which have not yet been electrified will also be upgraded, meaning the journey from York to Manchester would also be quicker.

The upgrade is due to take place over the coming decade. Metro, West Yorkshire's public transport provider, said a faster service would encourage commuters to use public transport.

"Electrifying the route would make it an attractive alternative to the M62, reducing congestion on the often overcrowded motorway," said Metro chairman Councillor James Lewis.

Neil McLean of Leeds City Region, a local enterprise partnership, said the improved connectivity would be a "transformational shot in the arm to the economic fortunes of the North".

The National Infrastructure Plan will be financed by British pension funds and private investment, as well as from further cuts in the present spending round.

Meanwhile, plans have also been announced for a new £6.6m railway station at Wakefield Westgate to be completed by 2013.

Phil Verster, Route Managing Director for Network Rail, said: "Whilst the old station is undoubtedly a striking building, passengers at Westgate will be well aware that it is no longer fit for purpose."

c/o bbc.co.uk, Nov 2011
 

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That is one option, but the problem with that option is accepting that Leeds will always be second to Manchester.

When we're trying to attract inward investment and international business, if the line is 'Manchester Airport is only 1 hour away', then that's essentially saying 'go to Manchester instead'.

Unless Leeds can excel in another area that makes it leagues above Manchester so that business is attracted here despite the lack of a major international airport, LBA will always be a hindrance for the city.
If you are refering specifically to airports, then of course LBA will always be second to MAN, I can't see any feasible way that could change. However, I don't think that would affect Leeds for business prospects, if there is a rail link that can get from the airport terminals to the centre of Leeds 'door to door' in 45 minutes, that is so quick I can't see that it would sway a business' decision where to locate, ie. that decision would be based on various other factors with airport provision being more than good enough to have little effect on that decision.
 

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I don't think LBA should be moved as like other posters have said, it will never compete with MAN.

However the road and rail links should be far better and if they were put in place could open the airport up to a larger market. I live closer to LBA than either MAN or EMA but never really consider flying from Leeds because it is such a pain to get to.
 

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I think all this about better transport links is a red herring.

90% of passengers using MAN go by car. LBA is still the easiest/quickest airport to access by car for all of west yorkshire, north yorkshire, east yorkshire, and a small part of south yorkshire.

Infact if the same flight was departing from manchester,liverpool, leeds, newcastle, and nottingham.... it is actually LBA that has the largest catchment.

THE problem LBA has is that the north can only have one long haul airport, and that naturally should be, and *is* i in the largest conurbation, which is also the centred conurbation (in between merseyside and westyorkshire, and equidsistant to sheffield-rotherham). There is no point Emerites replicating their MAN flights here at LBA when we will just go to MAN anyway. Better to consolidate.

So where does that leave us, LBA will only always ever have the same potential as Liverpool, around the 5 million mark, possibly a bit more around the 7m mark due to east yorkshire and north yorkshire, as a euro low cost local hub , and the bottle neck isnt transoprt links, it is the airport operator in proactively bringing flights to leeds. Having been council owned before this never happened, which is why LBA stagnated around the 3m mark never reaching its full potential of 5m
 
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