Morley Train Station is set to benefit from new seating and a new modular building for staff which will include a ticket machine in 2017-18.
The works, which will be carried out by Northern, the Station Facility Manager, will also include station lights being converted to LEDs over the next 2 years on a timeline that is currently being worked on.
The developments come from Northern’s Station Improvement Fund, c£40m fund to deliver real improvements to the stations which Northern manage in the region with high, medium and low footfall level. Morley is in the ‘high’ category.
In addition Northern recently appointed a Community & Sustainability Manager covering the region to work with volunteers from the community with an interest in the station.
Commenting on the proposed changes Northern’s Regional Director Paul Barnfield said:
“This is an exciting time for rail customers across the North of England as significant levels of investment are being placed into new trains, refurbished trains, new services and enhanced stations. We look forward to working with all our stakeholders to ensure this investment is spent wisely and appropriately.”
This development comes following a meeting called by Andrea with stakeholders Northern, TransPennine Express, Network Rail, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Rail North as part of her ongoing efforts to improve the local train station.
Train operators and Network Rail have signed a letter from Andrea to show their commitment to working cooperatively on the issue.
“From the beginning of my campaign I have been working to secure the investment Morley train station needs in order to ensure that our area benefits from an adequate transport connection.
“On this occasion I arranged a meeting with all of those with a say in the station to urge them to work together and deliver for the people of Morley and I am delighted with the progress so far. While some challenges remain to the proposed parking provision, the investment announced today by Northern is excellent step in the right direction for residents.”
In relation to the parking provision, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority has begun feasibility works to establish the viability and costs for a park and ride proposal for Morley rail station.
The Morley site has been identified as one for potential development as part of the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund programme, a package of extensions that will add around 1000 spaces to the 4,500 park and ride spaces that already exist at West Yorkshire’s rail stations.
A West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s spokesperson said:
“Park and Ride is a key factor in ensuring connectivity across West Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region and connecting people to opportunities. There are some serious challenges to this project at Morley and we are still exploring the feasibility of it.”
“The recent extension of the Park and Ride facility at Elland Road increased the total number of bus and rail park and ride spaces in West Yorkshire. The planned rail car park extension for Morley station, which is part of the Combined Authority’s £1bn West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund programme designed to generate £2.4bn gross value added per annum in the local economy and 20,000 permanent new jobs by the mid-2030s, has the potential to add further spaces to that total.”
As the owners of Morley Station Network Rail will be working closely with both Northern and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority in order to progress the plans to make Morley better for passengers using the railway.
Commenting on the future plans Janet Turlington, Network Rail’s Customer Manager said:
“Network Rail is committed to working with train operators to enable them to deliver station upgrades and increased service frequency for Morley.
‘These vital improvements at a station which is being used by a growing number of passenger numbers sit alongside Network Rail’s wider Rail Upgrade Plan which will see record investment to transform rail services across the North of England.”
Rail operators TransPennine Express have also announced that their trains will be calling at Morley Station as part of the plans by the company to increase the frequency of its services between Leeds and Manchester to six trains per hour.
Graham Meiklejohn, Regional Development Manager for TransPennine Express, said: “We look forward to Morley becoming an important station called at by TransPennine Express and as such we will support all efforts by the rail industry to improve the station, its access and facilities for passengers.”