Give Halifax a proper station

GIVE us a railway station we can be proud of.

That is the message from rail campaigners who have called for Halifax's dilapidated station to be either improved or demolished.

And today the Courier launches a campaign to get the "disgraceful" station improved and transformed into a modern gateway to welcome visitors to the town.

A damning report has been produced by Halifax and District Rail Action Group, demanding a radical solution.

They believe that if the Victorian buildings cannot be adapted they should be replaced with a more modern structure.

And the campaigners have drawn up a wish list to give the town a railway station fit for the 21st century, including the introduction of toilets, a cafe and shops, more litter bins, a new footbridge, new canopies and major improvements to security, information screens and the waiting room.

Better bus links and more car parking are also needed, according to HADRAG.

Chairman Stephen Waring said the aim should be a high standard of facilities and architectural quality – but the whole place was "worn out."

He said: "With part of Halifax station's roof being apparently held up by scaffolding and a catalogue of other issues this seems an ideal time to mount a campaign for a radical solution.

"HADRAG has always argued the station should be developed to provide a welcoming gateway for visitors to the town, as well as a tempting shop window for local people to access the national rail network."

Mr Waring said he was reluctant to suggest the demolition of a Victorian structure in the town conservation area, as it could be regarded as part of Halifax's heritage. He added: "But really if these buildings – if not actually falling down - cannot be adapted to provide the best possible facilities for the growing number of station users, we believe it is absolutely right to suggest their replacement.

"The vision could be of a new covered footbridge leading to a glazed atrium on the platform, providing generous shelter and an end to leaking roofs."

He went on: "There would be a heated waiting room, shop, refreshments, state-of-the-art information and security systems and toilets – all improving on what we have at present." The group has called on Calderdale Council, Metro and all official bodies with an interest in the station to come up with a plan and to help to find the finance for the improvements.

Shabby, leaking and shored up with scaffolding