Work has started on a £1.88 million scheme to make it easier for people to cross Huddersfield town centre

Work has started on a £1.88 million scheme to make it easier for people to cross Huddersfield town centre by foot, or by bike, which will provide a further boost for West Yorkshire’s growing walking and cycling network.

The Huddersfield Better Connect Stations project, being delivered by Kirklees Council through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, will focus on improving the route between Huddersfield Bus Station and Rail Station, for people to travel by foot, as well as better access around bus stops on Westgate.

How will this work? 

More space will be created for people to walk safely while observing social distancing through widening and resurfacing of footways along Westgate and Upperhead Row, as well as better street lighting, and new pedestrian and cycle crossings across the junction of Henry Street and Westgate. To enable these changes, some taxi spaces currently on Upperhead Row will be relocated to Dundas Street and Half Moon Street, and the Westgate junction and traffic signal arrangements will be reconfigured.

The scheme will also enable more people to travel across Huddersfield town centre by bike, including a new cycle route along Market Street. People are already benefiting from recently completed pavement widening and resurfacing works to St George’s Street, as an early phase of the scheme.

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: 

“Enabling increasing numbers of us to travel by bike and on foot is more important than ever, not only as we look to address the health, transport and economic challenges created by COVID-19, but also in helping us achieve our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.

This important scheme will provide easier and more attractive routes for people travelling across Huddersfield town centre, as well as between two key transport hubs, making it easier for people to travel by foot, bike or public transport.

From connecting people across our region, to reducing air pollution and congestion, and combatting physical inactivity and obesity, we know getting more people cycling and walking has a vital role to play in making West Yorkshire a great place to live and work.”

Cllr Peter McBride, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration said:

“The start of this work is a significant step towards achieving both our climate emergency and blueprint ambitions.  By making it easier to travel between the stations, we can encourage more people to use public transport for longer journeys and make sure both pedestrians and cyclists can get around Huddersfield and the rest of Kirklees safely. Walking and cycling more and using cars less is good for everyone, it helps make the air cleaner, improves physical fitness and supports mental wellbeing.”

A public consultation on these schemes, including drop-in events at the bus and rail stations, was held in November 2019. Funded by the government’s Transforming Cities Fund, the works are due to complete in Summer 2021.

12 comments

  • Well done Huddersfield – yet again. Do our politicians and planners know there are other towns in Kirklees? How about spending some of those limited resources making those other towns safe for pedestrians as well – or are they unimportant?

  • Best transform the buildings to homes , the long decline of town centres will continue faster because of covid and lack of parking for shoppers ,easier to buy online and locally then bother to travel into Huddersfield . I have not been in Huddersfield since March , missed browsing shops but those days are unlikely to return.

  • Good news, this is a genuine improvement for pedestrians and cyclists. Attention should now focus on reaching the town centre, by creating cycle friendly ring road crossings, starting with Trinity St and Northumberland St. Cycling will only increase if safe routes are created to the town centre.

    • Well said, it seems kirklees have done the chicken and egg here, so it is easy to cycle around Town just deadly getting there. The investment for this will sit idle until people can get there to use it.

  • Yet the buses near me are once an hour if they bother to turn up so it isn’t easy to even get into Huddersfield if I wanted to

  • I agree with Steve Cook about homes in Huddersfield. I have maintained for years unless you bring people into the town centre by living there nothing will happen to stop the decline of Huddersfield as a shopping area. There is enough brown field sites to build homes, I would like to point out there would not be any need for cars, the bus station and rail station would be in walking distance. Would it not reduce the emissions to a more acceptable level that you seem to be trying to reach. Take a look at how Leeds has grown by bringing into the town people.

  • Because I happily remain reasonably fit and active even at my now octogenarian years, I don’t find crossing Huddersfield town centre between the locations listed to be an issue and certainly not a £1.88 million expenditure issue. One can therefore but surmise that our august elected representatives have yet again either misguidedly lost the plot, or are operating from some covert agenda to which us mere mortals are not to be privy! I will concede, however, that there are some who may not find their perambulations through the town to be quite as easy as I do, but, again, does facilitating that minority justify the expenditure of £1.88 million for them to visit a town that has little to attract them to be there in the first place?

    Indeed, it is just that which do find to be the issue. What is there to attract most folk to visit the town centre in the first place, other than for those very infrequent visits that must be made out of unavoidable necessity rather than a personal choice. The reality is Huddersfield town centre is a depressing place to be and that has been exacerbated by the current pandemic conditions which have effected ever more shuttered facades to be added to the hideous 1960s planning blights which ripped the heart out of the town which was already in a state of decline. That was a decline which was even further exacerbated by the disastrous 1970s local authorities reorganisations which destroyed the proud identities of each of the towns which were sucked into the deplorably costly exercise of creating the rootless Kirklees metropolitan district out of which the main beneficiaries at that time were council officers many of whom were effectively re-employed at greatly inflated remuneration packages, mostly at the expense of disposing of on-the-ground workers, the very ones who actually delivered our services. Whether or not spending £1.88 million on widening footpaths and painting a few white lines for cyclists who will probably not be attracted to ride through the town anyway, remains to be seen, but add to that the as yet clearly undisclosed actual cost of a museum to rugby in the defunct George Hotel, one surely must question the mental stability of the decision makers who are totally comfortable with extracting £2000 per annum or more from households mainly to have their waste bins emptied.

    • Agree with Rodney Elliot. There is very little attract people to Huddersfield town centre – it’s quite depressing to be in it. There are so many beautiful listed buildings surrounded by a town that totally let’s them down. Seems futile to invest that sum into a town that few want to visit. Anyone I ever speak to has a poor view of the town centre.

    • Eloquently said Rodney, I agree with everything you say, It’s a shame you are not the one making the far reaching decisions for our Town.

    • Spending this money on making nice pavements and cycleways through the town centre sounds to me like a town centre avoidance scheme helping people to get through it due to the fact that there’s nothing to stop for. We have in recent years seen many needed services lose their funding forcing them to close now suddenly there is money so that the council can pretend to tackle the climate crisis. The reality is that town centres as we have known them are dead unless all roads prioritise public transport over cars and all pavemen and roads were made flat so that anyone who has balance problems doesn,t feel nervous walking. Trips and falls caused by uneven pavements must cost a lot of money if people are injured.o

    • Well said Rodney Elliott!
      Who on earth wants to cycle across town?
      Where will all the buses go that normally clog up Westgate?
      One of the biggest problems for pedestrians has always been the one-way system that has cars driving around for fifteen minutes, desperately looking for a parking space just so they can nip into somewhere for five minutes, then having to take a circuitous escape route to the ring road.
      And what about the disabled? They don’t factor at all! For example, the council have completely blocked off access to my bank, even by taxi.

  • The £1.88m would be better spent reducing business rates to encourage more shops to open or reopen in Huddersfield.

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