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Five West Yorkshire councils have been meeting behind closed doors in a bid to establish a £1 billion fund for major transport schemes in the region.
The councils, including Bradford, would plan to launch the initiative in April next year, the Telegraph & Argus can exclusively reveal.
But the move has sparked fears that local schemes could miss out as cash is pulled away to finance larger-scale regional projects.
The Association of West Yorkshire Authorities, with Bradford Council leader Ian Greenwood as chairman, met last month to discuss setting up the West Yorkshire Transport Fund.
Documents obtained by the T&A show a £1bn fund could have a "transformational impact" equivalent to 33km of light rail network, a 60km network of high quality bus rapid transit, or 43km of new roads.
The aim of the fund would be to address the region's key economic barriers and drivers and, if investment is well targeted, it could add £1bn a year to the region's economic potential as well as creating 20,000 jobs in the medium term.
Once operational and successful, the scope of the fund could be extended to include housing schemes, for example.
A total of £850m would be contributed locally, with the remainder hopefully from the Department for Transport's major scheme funding, post 2014/15.
Funding options include the Integrated Transport Authority levy, top slicing of the Local Transport Plan monies, the community infrastructure levy, localised business rates, part of Section 106 monies, and external funding.
Coun Greenwood stressed that no decision had been taken by the association but that the fund was an option they were looking at.
He told the T&A: "We are looking at the potential for it. No decision has been taken on it as yet.
"In the absence of Government money we have got to look at innovative ways of changing the infrastructure. This is one of the options that we are looking at.
"We want to talk to businesses and other communities before any decision is made.
"It's not going to happen in the next year but we will put the possibility into the public arena by then."
The move drew criticism from Conservatives on Bradford Council, with Tory group leader Councillor Glen Miller concerned that funding would be taken away from local Bradford schemes.
He said: "I was shocked and saddened to find that some decisions would still appear to be made behind closed doors - even more surprising that it was a pre-briefing held in private and substantial deals appear to have been done when it came to the committee.
"I am sure Councillor Ian Greenwood as leader of the Council should be acting in the best interests of Bradford rather than others."
Following the discussions by council leaders at the AWYA meeting, the West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Author-ity's executive board agreed later in the same month to funding of £100,000 from the LTP3 pot allocated for development purposes to help in establishing the new £1bn transport fund.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
This to me is great idea as long as Leeds don't get the greatest share of the pie, as they always seem to do. I only have knowledge of Bradford, so projects that come to mind are Shipley Eastern Bypass, Canal Road dual carriageway, Saltaire Bypass, Tong Street dual carriageway, completion of the city ring road, Low Moor Station, Manningham Station, and capacity improvements to most of the outer ring road junctions.
 

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Is the linking up of the two Bradford rail stations still a possibility, given that it will improve connectivity in all directions?
 

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Ashtonian said:
Is the linking up of the two Bradford rail stations still a possibility, given that it will improve connectivity in all directions?
I would hope its on the list. Even a light rail or tram link if heavy rail is too costly.
 

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Is the linking up of the two Bradford rail stations still a possibility, given that it will improve connectivity in all directions?
This would make a lot of sense as well as electrifying the interchange, Pudsey to Leeds route. The Leeds to Forster square trains could operate on a loop service.
 

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I don't know how needed Bradford Crossrail is. As I say, are that many people actually commuting across Bradford? Most people are commuting into Leeds.

It might become more useful once a rail link is completed to the airport. It would allow for direct services from Manchester, Rochdale, Huddersfield, Halifax and Bradford to the airport without having to change at Leeds.
 

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Top priority IMO should be incrasing inter-city links.
The cities of the Liverhull belt alone are decent sized but excepting Manchester not exactly world challengers. With better links across Yorkshire and Lancashire though the cities could hopefully begin to work as one and provide a genuine real northern counterbalance to London.
 

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There's a bit of a rural gap between Leeds and Hull. The Humber Ports are important but not part of an agglomeration like you could argue between Manchester and Liverpool.

You could consider Leeds a node in the Northern Way, most probably to take a 90 degree turn south along the M1 corridor to Sheffield and even onto the Midlands cities, but also northwards as the focus moves towards the Teesside and Tyneside conurbations more than the Humber Ports.
 

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Hi guys,
I was wondering if any of you know anything about news the other day about plans to electrify some routes coming out of Hull?
 
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