Work has started on a £1.88 million scheme to make it easier for people to cross Huddersfield town centre by foot or bike, providing 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.
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.
Councillor 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.”
Councillor Peter McBride, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for regeneration, added: “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.
Read the September issue of BikeBiz below: