New designs for £15.8m Halifax bus station due to fire safety issues

Revised designs for the new Halifax bus station have been submitted after issues were raised around fire safety.

Friday, 20th August 2021, 11:38 am
Updated Friday, 20th August 2021, 11:42 am

At Calderdale Council's planning comittee councillors permitted a variation to designs for the new bus station at Northgate, Halifax, which would see loss of some wooden beams and a “green wall” following fire safety issues raised and concerns expressed by insurers.

Coun Paul Bellenger (Lib Dem, Greetland and Stainland) said he could not understand how the green wall, a living screen, would be against fire regulations and councillors were unhappy at losing the element, Coun Stephanie Clarke (Illingworth and Mixenden) suggesting a steel trellis could be used to get round the issue.

But officers said councillors had to deal with the application as it was in front of them and the changes met the need.

New designs for the Halifax bus station

During the design review process a number of changes have been made, the most significant proposed change is to the concourse roof structure (from structural timber to steel) and the omission of the green wall.

On the changes to roof design, the applicant, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: "The Combined Authority’s building insurers recently advised that the premiums for Halifax Bus Station would increase by 20 times for a glulam timber roof, and strongly advised changing the design to a steel roof.

"The insurers did not think it would be possible to amend the timber roof in any way to reduce the insurance premiums.

"The Combined Authority’s Head of Assets has advised that an increase in insurance premiums by 20 times is not affordable

On the omission of the Green Wall the WYCA said: "The Combined Authority’s building insurers recently advised that the premiums for Halifax Bus Station would increase significantly if a green wall is included, and strongly advised omitting this from the design.

"The insurers did not think it would be possible to amend the green wall in any way to reduce the insurance premiums."

Pre-construction works has started to replace existing bus station with new state-of-the-art facility

Alongside improved passenger facilities and better access to the town centre, plans for the new bus station include environmentally friendly features, such as measures to enable the future introduction of electric bus charging points, bike parking and solar panels.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategy, Councillor Jane Scullion, said: “The West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s work on Halifax bus station will complement other transport improvements around the town to provide a more coordinated travel network with better connections to the West Yorkshire region."

The new Halifax Bus Station, is part of a wider package of schemes to transform the way people travel in and around the town.

It is being delivered with money from the Leeds City Region Transforming Cities Fund, which is helping to transform gateways to towns and cities across the region by making it easier to walk, cycle and use public transport.

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of Transport for West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “We’re pleased to be working in partnership with Calderdale Council on this important scheme, which will make it easier for people to move around our region.

“In these challenging times, it is more important than ever that we continue to invest in a modern, accessible transport network, which supports economic growth by connecting more people with job, training and education opportunities.

“Our region deserves a transport system which fills people with pride, with optimism and, above all, with the confidence that we have a clear direction of travel towards future prosperity for all, while helping us achieve our aim of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.”

Willmott Dixon will be undertaking the construction work, which is expected to continue until late 2022.