Around 20,000 people a day will use the new entrance providing a direct link to the city’s growing south bank area.
The entrance opens up access to South Bank Central, Holbeck Urban Village and Leeds Dock and Hinterland development areas.
Passengers will no longer have to loop around the station to the existing northern entrance – cutting the time it takes to catch trains.
Transport minister Andrew Jones today (4 Jan) officially opened the entrance hailing it ‘a further example of the Northern Powerhouse in action’.
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.”
The government contributed £12.4m towards the development which was delivered in partnership with West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Network Rail.
Cllr Peter Box, chairman of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, added: “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 50 minutes 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.”
The entrance follows the recent awarding of the Northern and TransPennine rail franchises that will ensure longer trains, more frequent services and provide space for more than 14,000 more passengers – around 46% more capacity – into Leeds and Sheffield during the morning rush hour. There will be also extra services between Leeds and Hull, Leeds to Harrogate and Leeds to Lancaster via Skipton.
There will be also extra services between Leeds and Hull, Leeds to Harrogate and Leeds to Lancaster via Skipton.