Huddersfield Unlimited calls for Network Rail and Kirklees Council to work better together to ensure that the new Transpennine Route Upgrade delivers new businesses and new jobs for our local area.
On 6 July Huddersfield Unlimited submitted a formal ‘Statement of Case’ together with Huddersfield Civic Society to the inquiry which is being set up to review Network Rail’s scheme to electrify and substantially improve the Transpennine rail route between Huddersfield and Westtown, Dewsbury.
Whilst we are supportive of the scheme in general we felt it was important to ensure that the scheme is used to improve and regenerate the area around Huddersfield station, as described in the ‘Station Gateway’ elements of Kirklees Council’s ‘Huddersfield Blueprint’.
In particular, our submission highlights the need for Network Rail and Kirklees Council to work together to improve the design of the scheme so that it includes a link from the Railway Warehouse to St George’s Square. This would create a mixed-use commercial hub and gateway to the town, which our expert advisers have calculated has the potential to create many new jobs for people in the local area.
We also make the case for substantially more parking for car users (this should include a park and ride scheme) and better, well-lit routes for walkers and cyclists into, and across, both sides of Huddersfield station.
Our comments complement those of other organisations, including Kirklees Council and the Kirklees Cycling campaign. The submission has now been formally acknowledged by officials and Huddersfield Unlimited, together with Huddersfield Civic Society, is confirmed as one of the oral participants at any public enquiry.
Hugh Goulbourne (Chair, Huddersfield Unlimited Transport and Connectivity Working Group) said: “A big thank you to everyone who has contributed to the submission of our Statement of Case to the Network Rail (Huddersfield to Westtown (Dewsbury) Improvements) Order Inquiry. We look forward to continuing to work together with the Civic Society, Council officials and Network Rail to deliver a Station gateway that enables businesses, families and workers to build back better from the pandemic in Huddersfield and our surrounding areas.”