Revised proposals for the A629 Halifax town centre project are being presented to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee.
The major upgrade to the town centre is one part of the Council’s work to reduce congestion on the A629 route between Halifax and Huddersfield and to boost the local economy with funding from the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund.
The scheme will significantly improve pedestrian and cycle access with better facilities and footpaths making it easier to get into and around the town centre.
A revised bus network around the town will also be introduced, allowing for increased bus services and improved connectivity with the rail station.
The scheme also supports wider social and health benefits, encouraging active travel and reducing carbon emissions. These measures will contribute to the Council’s work to tackle air pollution issues and continue the fight against climate change.
Original proposals also included plans for a striking public space linking the Piece Hall and the rail station. This would have involved the demolition of the former Hughes Corporation building (31 Square Road); however, shortly after the planning application was approved, it was confirmed that the building had been granted Grade II listed status, which has changed the original proposal for demolition.
The project is being presented to Investment Committee to seek additional funding to support a detailed redesign of the proposed Piece Gardens to incorporate the Hughes Corporation building.
Timescales for the project will be refined as it progresses, but due to the need for a redesign and a resubmission of the planning application, the project is likely to incur a 12 month delay, with completion now estimated in late 2023.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, Cllr Jane Scullion, said:
“This phase of the A629 project would transform Halifax town centre and it’s estimated that footfall, bus use, cycle use and commercial space occupancy rates would all increase in the years following its completion. The revised transport flow would also improve access to public transport, subsequently improving connectivity to jobs and housing.
“During the public consultation for this project, the Piece Gardens element of the plan received a lot of positive feedback and letters of support, so we’re determined to continue with viable elements of this proposal.
“We’re dedicated to delivering a project that improves accessibility to Halifax town centre for all residents and visitors, helping us to progress our ambition for regeneration and growth in Calderdale.”
The project will be discussed at the meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee on Tuesday 3 September.
Cllr Peter Box, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Committee and Leader of Wakefield District Council said:
“These plans for Halifax town centre are an important element of our £100 million programme of improvement work along the A629 between Halifax and Huddersfield and as with all our West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund schemes, they will support local economic growth and new jobs by reducing costly congestion.
“And by improving access to public transport it will help to reduce congestion and the pollution that results from queuing traffic.”
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority used the £1 billion Leeds City Region Growth Deal package to establish the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund in 2014.
West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund schemes are designed to increase housing, employment and economic growth across the Leeds City Region and include new and expanded highways, improved access corridors and junctions for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles and enhanced provision of parking at rail stations and greater investment in public transport infrastructure.
For more information on Calderdale’s Next Chapter, which includes major improvements to transport, public spaces and business premises, visit, www.calderdalenextchapter.co.uk(external link)
The Next Chapter helps to form Calderdale’s Vision 2024. But where do we want to be by 2024? What’s our ambition and what will be different? Get involved with the debate on twitter with #VisionCdale2024 and find out more https://www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/council/vision-2024.