Kirklees Council is seeking the views of residents on plans to improve access for people travelling by bike or on foot in and around Huddersfield Town Centre in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
The proposed improvements on Cross Church Street, Queen Street and Queensgate – key routes through the town centre – aim to encourage more people to make more every day journeys by bike or on foot.
It forms part of Kirklees Council’s Huddersfield Blueprint – a ten-year vision to create a thriving, modern-day town centre – which was launched on 26 June.
The Blueprint aims to deliver five key objectives for Huddersfield Town Centre: A vibrant culture, art, leisure and nightlife offer, thriving businesses, a great place to live, improved access and enhanced public spaces.
These proposed works at Cross Church Street, Queen Street and Queensgate will support the Blueprint by improving access to the new Cultural Heart, Kingsgate Shopping Centre and surrounding areas.
The aim is to allow people travelling by bike or on foot to move around and across the town more easily and to create a clean, attractive environment which encourages people to spend time in the town centre.
The planned improvements at Cross Church Street and Queen Street include new walking and cycling zones and access restrictions for motor vehicles. People travelling by bike would be permitted to travel in both directions and improved paving would be introduced which is more appropriate.
Queen Street and King Street will see a new walking and cycling zone between the Lawrence Batley Theatre and Zetland Street, prohibiting all motor vehicles except for permit holders.
Cross Church Street would also see a new walking and cycling zone between the Kingsgate Shopping Centre entrance and Kirkgate, prohibiting all motor vehicles.
This will require a change to the route of Huddersfield’s free town bus and where it stops.
Loading at both locations would be allowed between 6am-10am and 4pm-8pm.
This scheme is being delivered in partnership through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, which is aimed at encouraging more people to travel by bike or on foot. Plans have also been developed to improve Queensgate – linking to Cross Church Street – where there are delays, queuing traffic, and limited facilities for people travelling by bike or on foot.
Proposed improvements on Queensgate include a new and improved crossings at Shorehead roundabout and Wakefield Road, a shorter crossing for people on foot on Zetland Street and an improved junction.
There will also be wider cycling and walking spaces as well as footway and highway resurfacing and other enhancements.
These improvements aim to help link the university to the town centre, better manage traffic and make crossing the road easier.
These schemes are funded by the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.
Cllr Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “We’re an ambitious council with a commitment to ensuring all of our town centres thrive. The Blueprint lays out exactly how we will achieve that in Huddersfield Town Centre.
“We want our businesses to succeed so we need to make sure people can access them so we attract visitors rather than deterring them. This, of course, involves better supporting people travelling by bike or foot so we’re making Kirklees a greener place at the same time.
“These plans will play a key role in helping people better access everything Huddersfield Town Centre has to offer, including our exciting plans for a new Cultural Heart in this area.
“I encourage everyone to have their say on these plans and help us to make sure they work for the people of Kirklees.”
Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Kirklees Council on these important schemes, which will improve access for people travelling by bike or on foot in Huddersfield town centre.
“We know encouraging more of us to cycle and walk not only boosts people’s health and saves individual’s money, it also brings wider environmental and economic benefits, which is why we want to make cycling and walking a natural choice for short, everyday journeys.”
For more information and to have your say on the plans visit www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/crosschurch
More details on the Huddersfield Blueprint can be found at www.kirklees.gov.uk/HuddersfieldBlueprint