The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has opened the new £20m southern entrance to Leeds railway station.
Providing a direct link to the city’s south bank area next to the River Aire, the new entrance will be used by around 20,000 people a day.
It opens up access to South Bank Central, Holbeck Urban Village and Leeds Dock and Hinterland development areas.
Owned and managed by Network Rail (NR), the entrance includes a brand new concourse, escalators, stairs and lifts to improve accessibility and cycle storage for easier, connected journeys.
The UK Government had contributed £12.4m towards the development, which was delivered in partnership with NR and West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
With this new entrance, passengers will no longer have to loop around the station to the existing northern entrance reducing the time it takes to catch trains.
Transport minister Andrew Jones said: "The stunning entrance will make journeys quicker and more convenient for thousands of passengers every day.
"This is a further example of the Northern Powerhouse in action, improving lives for people and businesses in Leeds.
"We’re determined to provide Leeds and Yorkshire with a transport network to support its ambitions, with new rail franchises, new rail stations and major road upgrades to drive the region’s growth."
Leeds station follows the opening of a new station in December at Apperley Bridge, on the commuter route between Leeds and Bradford Forster Square.
Another station at Kirkstall Forge is scheduled to open before Easter and a new station at Low Moor in Bradford is expected later this year.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority chairman Councillor Peter Box said: "A significant proportion of the city region’s 1.4 million workforce use Leeds station with a growing number of them wanting to head south when they arrive.
"The distinctive new southern entrance, will save one in five of them up to 50min on their weekly commute and will help to encourage development in an area, which, as well as being home to ASDA’s UK headquarters, is also the location of Eversheds, Ernst & Young and DWF’s regional HQs."
Image: The new Leeds station southern entrance is owned and managed by Network Rail. Photo: courtesy of the UK Government.