Reinstate a Train Station in Methley Village
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If your village had a train line that ran through the middle of it and linked 2 cities and also had a major 'A' road splitting it in 2 which also led directly to a major city only 8 miles away, you would think that the residents of the village would have no public transport issues wouldn't you?
However residents of Methley village, which had not 1, not 2 but 3 train stations servicing it for over a 100 years, now have to travel 3 miles in either direction to reach a train station and to rub salt into their wounds, the outskirts of the village are earmarked for the proposed HS2 railway line but again they are not being supplied with access to it. In addition to the lack of access to a train station, the bus service for the village has to be split into 2 to accommodate the major A road (A639) which means that each side of the village only has one bus every half an hour and even less on evenings and weekends and if you live on the wrong side of the village, one of these buses only runs to Leeds or Pontefract, neither of which are our nearest towns. The other buses that service the village run approximately 3 times a day at 2/3 hourly intervals and not at peak times, thereby reducing their use for the majority of residents (and unfortunately the opportunity to walk to the next bus stop should you miss your bus is also not effective, as the buses are timed within minutes of each other!). The village therefore relies heavily on cars for transportation and most houses have at least one car if not 2 or more, thereby causing congestion and parking issues and even health and safety concerns around the school.
When Methley had 3 train stations the village was a quarter of the size it is now. Since the early 1990's to the present day, over 500 extra houses have been built in the village, with a development of another 181 houses proposed (ironically these are proposed to be near to the site of one of the old stations and tellingly the proposal to the planning department for these houses states that the current local public transport arrangements doesn't even meet the draft Core Strategy Accessibility Standards required for new housing developments in Leeds). As many of the houses are 3 and 4 bed detached houses, that house an average of 2.5 persons, the population of the village has therefore increased by approximately 1250 extra residents in that time. Furthermore during the same time period, we have seen the bus service through the village decline from 3 to 4 buses per hour (with extra at peak times) to the situation of today of one per half hour. This has led to a 'Catch 22' situation, whereby residents do not use the service as there is not enough frequency or choice, which leads the bus companies to state that they are cutting the service further as they are under used, which leaves less choice etc. etc.
My request therefore is simple, I would like a survey to be carried out to check the viability of reinstating one of our stations, the cost of which would include a platform, signalling and car parking. The benefits however to the local economy and lives of local people would be a immeasurable. The old station house is still for sale and could be utilised to assist this scheme or local farmlands or fields could be purchased or reclaimed and used, as the roads which serviced these stations before are still useable.
It is well documented that demand for rail travel has steadily increased since the 1990's, and is now at its highest since the 1920's but on a smaller network. Due to this the government has promised to put aside money to help local projects to re-open railway stations and lines that closed many years ago and I firmly believe that our village should be considered for this funding and assistance. The northern powerhouse has been spoken about in the media a lot, as has the HS2 project. Our cities need to be accessed first and foremost by those communities that live around them, if we cannot get into our local city quickly and easily, why would we need a faster rail link to another city? and how will that create a powerhouse, Northern or otherwise?!
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