CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
CIVIC SOCIETY NEWS
Huddersfield Civic Society is working to support Kirklees Council develop plans for the Huddersfield Blueprint’s Station Gateway.
A new, west-side station entrance, with a pedestrian link from St George’s Square, would revitalise the railway warehouse and surrounding area. The square itself would benefit from the removal of vehicles accessing the station.
This week the Society submitted an outline for a suggested approach to Peter Steniulis in the Council’s Major Projects Service.
It suggests opening up the west side of the station, summarised in the Blueprint as:
A new Station Square will provide an arrival space, drop off zone and new entrance to Huddersfield Train Station. The lower levels of St George's Warehouse can be converted into a car park, with the upper floors converted into office space, apartments or a hotel. This will make better use of this site and connect the warehouse to the town.
We recognise that funding and sequencing of activities will be critical and that visuals will be required to provide views of how the area could look, based upon potential, but realistic, aspirations.
We recognise that many issues arising from land/building ownership on the west side of the station through to the nature and timing of the proposed Transpennine Railway Upgrade need to be resolved.
The Society does not have access to detailed information on the layout and level of the current buildings and spaces. However, we believe that it is essential to start with an outline of a vision in order to inform steps that need to be taken to deliver this element of the station gateway:
A new west-side entrance to Huddersfield station with:
A small, attractive and pedestrianised ‘square’ directly in front of the new west-side station entrance, paved and styled to complement the (now) fully pedestrianised St George’s Square:
Southwards from the new public square:
Westwards from the new public square:
Northwards from the new public square:
The above allows for the removal of station traffic from St George’s Square, offering the potential for alfresco dining there. These ideas could form the basis for visuals to help develop and review more detailed proposals.
Details will depend on some critical initial decisions to which Huddersfield Civic Society is happy to contribute and review:
1. Will the new west-side ‘square’ - whatever its size and shape - be at the same ground level as the station platforms (= ground level access from the big car parking area onto Fitzwilliam Street) or at a higher level that then allows level walking across the top of the tracks, before going down to the current station square and entrance?
2. Will there be a new, duplicate set of station facilities (ticketing, café etc) at a new entrance in this new west-side square… …or will everyone arriving at the new square need to cross the tracks to get to the current ticket office, possibly then needing to cross back over tracks to board their train?
3. The nature of a link from the new ‘square’ up to New North Parade, essential not least for access to the bus station: foot/cycle/escalator/lift?
4. Will any activities be provided in this new ‘square’ itself (or in the square-level of the warehouse) or will the ‘square’ just be a transit space to other destinations, eg as is the ‘new’ front of Wakefield Westgate station?
Victoria Tower, Castle Hill picture by Vinny Tyrell
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