People will be able to get a closer look at Calderdale Council’s proposals to improve access to Halifax town centre through major infrastructure developments between summer next year and late 2022.
The aim of the changes is to reduce A629 traffic congestion and improve and connect up pedestrian routes within the historic core of Halifax itself.
Under the banner of Calderdale: The Next Chapter, the plans are being showcased at the New Central Library and Archive, which is next to Square Chapel at Square Road, Halifax, from Friday, May 11, to June 4.
Delivery of the scheme will necessitate major highway improvements to Halifax’s eastern and western corridors which when completed will improve journey times for through traffic, especially at peak times.
Three key elements, targeted for completion for 2021, will comprise the transport infrastructure works.
They include an upgrade of the eastern corridor (Church Street, Bank Bottom, Berry lane and Charlestown Road) with development of an “Eastern Gateway” through the creation of a public square and improved pedestrian and cycle access routes from Halifax Rail Station to the town centre.
The “Northern Gateway” (including North Bridge, Broad Street and Cross Hills) into the town centre will be upgraded, Market Street will be improved, and bus movements will be reconfigured.
“Southern” and “Western” Gateways (including Ward’s End, Bull Green and Cow Green) will also be enhanced.
The council believes well-planned investment in better streets can improve consumer and business satisfaction with increased rents, property prices, employment and business performance, resulting in extra footfall and trading increased by up to 40 per cent.
It also believes perceptions matter, and that the changes will increase the attractiveness of the area – people like pedestrian areas and dislike traffic and the importance to retail of car access to the town centre is “consistently over estimated. There can be high returns for spending, the council concludes.