£41m revamp for Halifax town centre

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The next phase of road improvements and the regeneration of Halifax town centre, which will cost almost £41m and create hundreds of new jobs, has been revealed.

The next phase of road improvements and the regeneration of Halifax town centre, which will cost almost £41m and create hundreds of new jobs, has been revealed.

The plans to approve the initial funding went before West Yorkkshire Combined Authority Investment committee with phase two focusing on Halifax Town Centre to address key route traffic use through and around Halifax centre and to unlock and improve access to development sites to encourage economic growth.

The scheme aims to reduce the severance impact of 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 are also looking to improve and enhance pedestrian movements and environments within the town centre.

It is estimated that 419 jobs will be created through development land release and 528 through improvements of highways. Calderdale Council has made a submission to progress the scheme and has been subject to a peer review which revealed the forecast outturn cost of the scheme is £40,929,250.

The total funding approval sought by the scheme promoters to progress detailed design of the A629 Phase 2 scheme is £2,316,000. An initial funding allocation of £700,000 was given to fund critical survey work up to the end of March 2016.

The funding comes on the first plans being revealed for a new shopping complex on Northgate House. Calderdale Council awarded the contract to re-develop the Northgate House site to Oakapple Group, having secured funding from the Leeds City Region Local Growth Fund.

Oakapple will redevelop the site to create large floor plate comparison retail units ranging from 10,000 sq ft to 50,000 sq ft over two floors. Walker Singleton are in the process of letting out the units of the development which is set to be complteted by 2018. The redevelopment of Northgate House is part of an overall £1billion investment in the region from the Leeds City Region Growth Fund. £1.3million has been secured from the Local Growth Fund for this major infrastructure project and complements a pipeline of investment across the Leeds City Region including housing, regeneration and transport projects.

Improvements in the pipeline:

The A629 phase 2 scheme is intrinsically linked to the Halifax Delivery Plan and the A629 Phase 1 scheme which acts as an enabler to unlock the southern section of the A629 and act as a catalyst to allow Halifax Town Centre to benefit from both transport and public realm improvements.

Due to the nature of the town centre, delivery of phase 2 is in 3 sub phases: 2a, b and c. Phase 2a creates a new Eastern Gateway for the town centre, includes immediate improvements to the rail station environs, and is linked to the ongoing developments at the Piece Hall, Square Chapel and Central Library, and is aimed at creating a direct access to the Cripplegate development site fronting onto the town centre network.

The components of Phase 2a are as follows:

n Shay Syke – widening of footway on eastern side to provide a footway/cycle way between Water Lane and Gaukroger Lane

n Shay Syke/Water Lane/Hunger Hill – signalisation of junction and provision of cycle crossings

n South Parade/Discovery Road – new southern access for Eureka! and car park/cycle route improvements

n Church Street/Horton Lane – all red pedestrian facilities at junction, road widening on Church Street, re-establishing the road along the old Church Street alignment, enhanced access to Eureka! northern car park, provision of cycle crossings and creation of new public square

n Lower Kirkgate/Bank Bottom – replacement of mini-roundabout with priority junction, new signal junction at Cripplegate

n Charlestown Road/PC World – conversion of mini-roundabout to priority junction

n A58/Charlestown Road – approach lane capacity improvements on entry to roundabout

n Removal of traffic from existing rail station bridge, except for taxis and disabled access/parking

n Eureka! northern car park improvements – provision of rail station parking, drop-off/pick-up facility and taxi rank to replace those removed from the bridge, and a cycle route connection to new public square

n Public realm improvements under existing rail bridge

Phase 2b will introduce major changes to the town centre bus network, which in turn allows the creation of shared space treatment along Market Street.

Proposals for the bus station also provide additional floor space for development adjacent to the Northgate House site.

This phase also provides a new Northern Gateway, aimed at addressing the connectivity issues previously identified between the town centre, Dean Clough and North Bridge Leisure Centre, encouraging the 4,000 employees of Dean Clough to utilise (and thus economically support) the wider town centre offer.

The bus accessibility components are key to the whole scheme as they allow pedestrianisation of Market Street and other town centre links that will increase footfall and therefore the commercial viability of existing and new sites.

The components of Phase 2b are as follows:

n Additional Eureka! northern car park and rail station accessibility improvements, including bus interchange (5 stands) and new lift and stairs

n Town Centre Bus Accessibility Improvements - bus accessibility and routeing improvements (dedicated bus box)

n Town Centre Bus Interchange and Hubs – rationalisation of existing bus station site to unlock a key development site and creation of mini-interchanges at the rail station

n Commercial Street/Ward’s End – all red pedestrian facilities at junction and bus routeing improvements (dedicated bus box)

n Northgate/Winding Road – all red pedestrian facilities at North Bridge and Winding Road, footway widening on east side of Northgate

Phase 2c creates new Southern and Western Gateways, aimed at addressing the connectivity issues previously identified between the town centre and west of the A629, as well as removing the three height restricted bridges on Water Lane

The components of Phase 2c are as follows:

n Removal of three restricted height bridges on Water Lane

n Church Street/Prescott Street – signalisation of junction and provision of cycle crossings to incorporate access into Royal London development site and road widening on Church Street

n Skircoat Road – minor highway and landscaping improvements

n Skircoat Road/Prescott Street – signal changes to improve pedestrian crossing amenity and enhanced access to swimming pool site

n Bull Green – replacement of roundabout at Bull Green with traffic signals

n Broad Street/Pellon Lane - closure of subway at Pellon Lane and enhanced at-grade pedestrian facilities at junction

n Broad Street/Orange Street - signal changes to improve pedestrian crossing amenity

n Traffic signal upgrades and detection/management systems to help manage traffic on A58 and A629 approaches to the town centre

n Variable message signs to aid way finding and help manage route choice and car park use