Leeds’ newest rail station has opened up at Kirkstall Forge and it’s set to be a key transport hub for the city.
The latest of two new rail stations in West Yorkshire has opened up, as Kirkstall Forge welcomes its first passengers. The new station, which is part of a wider development project in the area, is set to become one of the key transport hubs in Leeds, following on from the new Apperley Bridge station between Bradford and Leeds.
The station, which is the first at Kirkstall Forge since the last one shut down in 1905 after 45 years in operation, will initially feature one train per hour in each direction on the Wharfedale line. There will be trains between Leeds and Bradford Forster Square and Leeds and Ilkley, with more to be added in at morning and evening rush hour times to cater for the extra demand expected on the route.
Based just off Abbey Road, right by the River Aire, it’s perfect for those commuting in and out of Leeds with a 129 space car park, a pick-up and drop-off point and fully-accessible platforms with staircases and ramps. There’s also secure cycle parking and waiting shelters, with bus and taxi stops nearby.
The station is a milestone for the wider Kirkstall Forge area, which is currently one of the biggest development sites in Leeds. Community Estates Group (CEG) have a 57 acre site which will eventually be home to 1,050 new homes, over 300,00 square foot of office space and 100,000 square foot of retail, leisure and community space, creating around 2,400 new jobs along the way.
It’s not just about business, however. One of the key aspects of Kirkstall Forge as a whole, is that it will reinvigorate an area that’s been dismantled since the 1930s, when it was known as Hawksworth Wood. Kirkstall Forge is set to be one of the most desirable new builds in the city, with its part-forest and part-riverside setting.
That’s a sentiment, Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake shares, “It is fantastic news that rail services to the new Kirkstall Forge Station are about to open. The station has a key role to play in realising the major regeneration potential of the broader Kirkstall Forge development, bringing with it new jobs, training opportunities, housing and a range of office and leisure facilities to offer a significant boost to the local economy. We look forward to seeing lots of people making use of the new station and Kirkstall Forge as a prime destination as well as a gateway to the city centre and beyond in the weeks, months and years to come.”
With Kirkstall Forge rail station now open for business, it’ll be time to turn our attention towards the rest of the work in the area. Building work has already begun on the areas flagship office development, a seven-story structure offering up over 110,000 square foot of space, which will be completed during 2017, and is already anchored by two pre-lets. It’s a promising start for a brand new development in Leeds, and it’s expected to a vital part of the city, as a transport link, a business hub and an attractive place to live and socialise.
Kirkstall Forge Rail Station opened at 8.38am on Sunday 19th June 2016.