Rail services between Pontefract, Wakefield and Leeds to increase by 2017

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Rail services from Wakefield to Leeds and Pontefract will increase from 2017 thanks to government funding.

There will be two trains an hour between Pontefract Monkhill and Leeds, calling at Wakefield Westgate.

The changes are being funded by the Department for Transport.

The improvements follow years of campaigning by the Campaign for Improved Rail Services Pontefract, Knottingley and Featherstone.

Pontefract Coun Celia Loughran, who is a member of the group, said: “I’ve been campaigning for improved rail services since I joined the council so this is great news that we’ve finally got them.”

Services from Knottingley to Leeds will also increase to two an hour and there will be an extension of services from Featherstone to Wakefield Westgate and Leeds.

Works are also being carried out to transform the city’s Kirkgate station back to its former condition.

A £4.6m scheme led by regeneration charity Groundwork to restore the station is due to be finished this spring.

The new station will have a café, shops, office space and meeting rooms for the community and businesses to use.

The project has since been backed by Wakefield Council, Network Rail, Metro, Railway Heritage Trust, Grand Central Rail, Northern Rail, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Headley Trust and Eggborough Power Station, the Station Commercial Project Facility, National Stations Improvement Programme and the European Regional Development Fund.