Work to transform Halifax town centre has reached another key milestone, following further approvals from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
At the meeting of the Combined Authority’s Investment Committee on Thursday 5 November, the A629 Phase 2, Halifax town centre project, received approval to move to the next stage of development. This means that Calderdale Council is now able to start the process of appointing a contractor to carry out the work.
The £47.84million scheme is being fully funded by the Combined Authority. It aims to improve pedestrian and cycle access into and within Halifax town centre and improve highway efficiency with the remodelling of all 14 junctions around the town’s perimeter. A revised bus network will also be implemented, better connecting the rail and bus stations and improving on-street bus stop facilities.
In addition, the proposals introduce high quality improvements to the look and feel of the town centre, including the proposed pedestrianisation of Market Street. These combined measures all help to reduce emissions and improve air quality contributing to the Council’s carbon neutral targets.
Designs for the area between Halifax rail station and The Piece Hall, known as the ‘Eastern Gateway’ now retain the former Hughes Corporation building in the plans, enhancing the overall look of the scheme with minimal impact to the original highway proposals.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategy, Cllr Jane Scullion, said: “This exciting scheme would transform travel around Halifax town centre making it much easier to get around the town and especially benefitting users of public transport, cyclists and pedestrians.
“The project is fully funded by the Combined Authority through the West Yorkshire-Plus Transport Fund and this investment demonstrates the confidence in Halifax as a business and leisure destination. This is particularly important as we consider the future economic recovery of our towns from COVID-19.”
Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “This important scheme will make it easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport, and we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Calderdale Council on it.
“The Combined Authority is committed to leading the economic recovery from the pandemic and it is crucial we accelerate schemes, such as this one, to help create new employment opportunities and support supply industries.
“Enabling people to travel on foot, by bike and by public transport is more important than ever, not only in our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, but also in helping us achieve our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.”
The process to appoint a contractor will begin immediately with a view to the work starting on site in 2021. It is expected, subject to smooth delivery of the project, that the work will be completed in 2024. It will be delivered in manageable phases to minimise disruption.
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 the A629 project and other major improvements to transport, public spaces and business premises, visit www.calderdalenextchapter.co.uk