Transport in Dewsbury and Heckmondwike to receive multi-million pound refurb
Bus stations across Kirklees are set to receive a multi-million pound make-over.
Dewsbury Bus Station is earmarked for a £19.6m refurbishment along with improvements to the town centre and ring road.
And Heckmondwike bus hub is to be revamped via a £16m injection of cash that will also pay for improvements to the A638 and cycle links to the Spen Valley Greenway.
Paul Ellis, President of Dewsbury Chamber of Trade, said: “I think this is great news for Dewsbury.
“The replacement bus station has been a priority for the last two years.
“Some will say it’s a waste of money, but they are the people that don’t use the three-decade-old facilities.
“It will be more secure for the safety of passengers.”
The development projects comes after Kirklees Council revealed the £200m Dewsbury Blueprint investment plan to revive key town centre sites.
The 10-year plan would restore and reopen Kingsway Arcade, creating shopping, leisure and community space.
“One of Kirklees Council’s future priorities in the Dewsbury Blueprint is that the town centre will be void of vehicles,” said Mr Ellis.
“Let’s hope with the bus station refurbishment comes a fleet of electric buses, which are long over due.
Mr Ellis also gave his views on improvements to the Spen Valley Greenway.
He said: “It’s excellent for cyclists too.
“We welcome all investment in getting safer cleaner off-road cycling links.
“The Spen Valley Greenway has had much investment over the years, and this money will help sustain it’s future.”
The cash is set to be allocated by West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) as part of £177 million targeted towards new sustainable travel schemes across the region.
The Kirklees schemes, which were considered at a meeting on WYCA’s Investment Committee on Tuesday, will be delivered through Leeds City Region’s £317m Transforming Cities Fund.
The major new programme of investment was secured as part of the West Yorkshire devolution deal earlier this year to deliver ‘transformational infrastructure’ for people travelling by bus, bike or on foot.
“A lot of the credit for this money for new improvements must goes along way to local cyclists and clubs who have campaigned for this for many years,” said Mr Ellis.
Councillor Denise Jeffery, Chair of WYCA’s Investment Committee and Leader of Wakefield Council, said the body wanted to reduce car journeys across West Yorkshire by 3.5% by 2027 and the schemes set for approval next week would help achieve that ambition.
Kim Groves, Chair of WYCA’s Transport Committee, said investing in new infrastructure would help create ‘a step change in travel’ across the region and ‘dramatically improve’ access to cycling, walking and public transport.
In addition members will be presented with a £15.5m package of measures to make it easier for people across West Yorkshire to travel by bus.
WYCA consists of councillors and officers from West Yorkshire councils working on major infrastructure projects.
Dewsbury Bus Station was officially opened on September 2 in 1979.
It was last refurbished in 1994 by West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority.