Jacobs appointed as West Yorkshire mass transit partner

Jacobs appointed as lead consultant for design and placemaking for West Yorkshire mass transit programme.

Jacobs has been appointed as the lead consultant, on behalf of the McBains consortium, for the design and placemaking development partner commission for the West Yorkshire Mass Transit programme, being developed by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA).

With a population of 2.3 million and an economy of nearly £70bn, West Yorkshire remains the largest metropolitan area in Europe without an urban transit system.

The McBains consortium (including partners Jacobs, Pell Frischmann, Egis, Re-form Landscape Architecture, Fore Consulting and Gattica Associates) was appointed through the Crown Commercial Services Project Management & Full Design Team Services Framework RM3741. 

The consortium will support the combined authority in turning its mass transit vision into future-made designs that better connect West Yorkshire’s most important places, help combat climate change, support a green and inclusive recovery, and improve health and wellbeing for residents as part of re-balancing of the UK economy.

Jacobs’ work as development partner will focus on ensuring feasible options are developed on all corridors to unlock the full scale of benefits such a system can bring to the region.

“Our approach is focused around integrated, zero-carbon and place-based solutions that will not only benefit West Yorkshire, but also ensure that mass transit acts as a key enabler to unlock the regeneration and inclusive growth potential across the region as part of the combined authority’s overall connectivity plan,” said Jacobs people & places solutions senior vice-president Europe and digital strategies, Donald Morrison. 

“It provides a unique opportunity to draw on UK, continental European and international best practice to deliver an advanced, innovative system that West Yorkshire and its residents can be proud of,” he said.

The ambitious network is a signature scheme of West Yorkshire’s devolution deal with government and is proposed to extend across all parts of the city region to maximize benefits – serving Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Kirklees and Calderdale. 

Jacobs will develop the design philosophy, place-making strategy and technical options feasibility work for all corridors on the network – focusing on deliverability and designs around key network hotspots and the proposed form of mass transit in each corridor.

If you would like to contact Rob O’Connor about this, or any other story, please email