‘The biggest single investment programme area has seen for a century’

Concillor Tim Swift outside Halifax Town Hall.

Concillor Tim Swift outside Halifax Town Hall.

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The landscape of Halifax town centre and transport provision across Calderdale will soon begin ‘the biggest single investment programme Calderdale has seen for a century’, say council leaders.

As revealed in the Halifax Courier, schemes to improve the Calder and Hebble junction of the A629 and for the revamp of Halifax town centre are progressing with more detailed plans and public consultation beginning in the late spring/early summer.

Coun Barry Collins in Illingworth.

Coun Barry Collins in Illingworth.

Leader of Calderdale Council Coun Tim Swift said that transport improvements are being made throughout the district and not just in Halifax, such as the new proposed M62 junction and bypass in Brighouse and improvements at train stations and along the Calder Valley railway Line.

“This is an unprecedented once in a generation opportunity for investment in transport schemes and the biggest investment in transport for a hundred years,” said Coun Swift. “This is a tremendous opportunity amd we are making sure we are getting the benefits right.”

The team helping to deliver these projects have outlined current issues which the funding will aim to address.

The schemes aims to reduce the impact of traffic on the existing road network within the town centre, provide journey time savings and a more controllable distribution of traffic flows between the different routes via a complementary signing strategy.

Proposals will also look at improving and enhancing pedestrian movements and environments within the town centre.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority has been allocated £1bn over 20 years for transport improvements under the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund to increase employment, productivity and growth through investment in transport schemes across West Yorkshire and York.

In total £120m has been earmarked for schemes which Calderdale is leading, of which £70m has been mandated to specific scheme development.

Calderdale Council is working to secure mandate approval for the remaining £50m.

Deputy leader of the Council Barry Collins said the main aim of the schemes is to divert traffic out of the town centre and make it more pedestrian friendly.

“Overall in transport terms this is now beginning to look like the biggest single investment programme Calderdale has seen for a century.

“In Halifax the transport work will complement the Halifax town centre delivery strategy which aims to bring the whole Victorian street grid back into life, for example the area around North Bridge, and around Halifax . If we can help reduce the through traffic, we can rethink the potential and travel movements within the town centre.

“If we keep traffic out of the town centre the more inventive we can be.”

He added that the funding is not just being earmarked for the regeneration of Halifax town centre - there will be positive impacts throughout Calderdale.

Increasing car parking provision at railway stations across the borough will begin soon alongside track improvements along the Calder Valley line, in particular the Mill Royd junction. Coun Collins also said a similar vision in improving connectivity and pedestrian provisions in Brighouse is currently being developed with the introduction of a new M62 motorway junction and a Brighouse bypass.