Call for extra toilets as £17.7m work continues on new Halifax bus station
Providing alternative loos while work is ongoing to upgrade Halifax bus station should be a priority, says a councillor.
The public toilets at Halifax Bus Station have been closed during the work but Coun Roger Taylor (Ind, Northowram and Shelf) says alternative provision needs to be made.
He has called on a Cabinet member to liaise with West Yorkshire Combined Authority, major funders of the project, and the council’s own estate team to do this.
Coun Taylor, speaking at a meeting of the full Calderdale Council, said he was among people who have health issues which might mean they need use of a toilet.
“Access to public conveniences is important to me and many others.
“Also, with additional bus stops temporarily provided along Waterhouse Street and upper Crown Street, I feel the obvious answer is to re-open the George Street facilities closed some two years ago citing COVID as the reason,” he said.
Coun Taylor also asked Cabinet member for Regeneration and Strategy, Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) about forthcoming changes to the town centre’s layout which he said would mean access to Market Street and its well-used bus stops will cease and people will have to walk further away from the town centre to catch their buses.
It was a useful access point to many retailers and was reasonably near for people, especially those who had mobility problems and no private transport, he said.
Coun Taylor asked no permanent closure infrastructure be put in place for a trial period of 12 months from closure to gauge the impact and see what people thought.
Coun Scullion said council officers and WYCA staff were meeting and talking about the toilet issue.
“We have tried to get the Combined Authority to put in temporary disabled toilets but there have been particular constraints to do with the levels in terms of getting a temporary facility.
“But we are discussing this with the Combined Authority and the CAFM (council estate management) team are looking at ways in which they can extend other toilets in the town to make sure that at least some of that is being done.
“I absolutely agree with you we need to resolve this because given the work is continuing we really do need to make sure that people with disabilities have got the facilities they need.
“I know that during the day there are cafes and other places but nonetheless we do need to extend provision,” she said.
On the second issue consultation had been extensive, planning permission had been obtained some time ago and the scheme was fully designed and out to procurement in April.
There would be considerable improvements to bus circulation in the area and some public realm benefits – as it was, if you stood on or crossed the street buses were belching out diesel fumes often at the level of babies in buggies.
Air quality would accordingly be better and events could be held in the public realm space while access for bus passengers to Market Street facilities would be maintained, said Coun Scullion.
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