A proposal by Network Rail to upgrade a section of railway between Huddersfield and Westtown – about half a mile south-west of Dewsbury station – has won the support of Huddersfield Civic Society.
Network Rail says: 'The current layout of railway in this area means we can’t run more trains or faster trains than we currently do, and this section of the track can be a cause of delays.'
Its proposals include:
This is the response from HCS:
OVERALL VIEW: The Society is fully supportive of the overall scheme and sees it as a positive means of improving the reliability and time-keeping of long-distance and local train services through Huddersfield.
HUDDERSFIELD STATION: The Civic Society welcomes the points raised regarding preserving the heritage aspects of Grade 1 listed Huddersfield station and the need to use an additional access route to platforms to cope safely with increasing numbers of passengers.
However, we also note that the current severe constraints regarding vehicle access to Huddersfield station and, particularly, the extremely limited station car parking are not addressed in this exercise.
We note the contrast with, say, Leeds and Wakefield Westgate stations where modern multi-storey car parks and vastly improved road access have been built alongside new station entrances and facilities.
The Society supports Kirklees Council’s 2019 blueprint for 'An Enhanced Train Station'. This proposes a new station entrance on the far side of the tracks, ie adjacent to the new platform proposed in the Network Rail consultation.
The Council blueprint proposal gives easy vehicle access and provides adjacent large scale car parking without the need for vehicles to access the station, as currently, via the town centre and the only partially pedestrianised area in front of the current sole station entrance.
We would like this new station gateway to be part of the Network Rail scheme or, failing this, that the changes planned under the Network Rail scheme are made to be 100% compatible with the likely requirements of the Kirklees Council station gateway proposals.
OTHER MATTERS: The Civic Society asks that the various works proposed along the line east of Huddersfield station, such as 'the reconstruction of the Huddersfield Broad Canal structure' are carried out sympathetically so as to augment the current structures.