Permission extended to ‘prop up’ Halifax railway station foot bridge

Network Rail has been given listed building consent to temporarily prop-up a railway station footbridge for another two years.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 7:00 am

Calderdale Council has given permission for the timescale for work at Grade II listed buildings at Halifax Rail Station, Station Approach, which has been delayed by the Covid pandemic, to be extended.

Permission for a temporary means of support to the station footbridge, which links the ticket office to the station platforms, was given in 2020 for a two-year spell, adjudged an admissible time period pending its removal for a permanent solution.

But, says Northern Rail (Infrastructure Ltd), the unforeseen pandemic meant this was not possible.

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Halifax railway station

It was still necessary to maintain the structure while such a solution was designed and put in place and the impact on the ,listed building remained “extremely limited”, said a supporting statement.

Impact is limited to the immediate environs of the bridge and is only visible from the station’s “island” platform and to a very limited extent through protective fencing blocking off a subway from Navigation Street from unauthorised access, it says.

Back in 2012-13 the footbridge was considered by Network Rail to be at risk and continued to be monitored for some years until “such time as its continued use posed a serious risk to users and potential closure of the railway,” says the report.

In order to alleviate immediate risk and maintain the integrity of the footbridge a temporary propping system was designed for immediate implementation.

Network Rail says it is aware of the multi-million pound proposals to enhance the railway station, including the re-opening of the Navigation Street subway to improve connectivity to the Nestle factory area east of the station.

The temporary nature of the propping and the provision of a permanent strengthening scheme for the footbridge will allow for the removal of the prop in due course without detriment to the longer-term ambition of the council, says Network Rail.

The station buildings were designed by Manchester architect Thomas Butterworth, and built by well-known railway contractors George Thompson and Co, as a joint effort by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and Leeds, Bradford and Halifax Railway, opening in 1855.

They were altered in the 1880s and again in the late 20th century.

As well as re-opening the Navigation Road underpass the proposals to enhance the station include making the station accessible from a ground level car park and the first floor via a proposed footbridge for cycling and pedestrian use – this will require demolition of the existing station building and access bridge.

Both platforms will be reconfigured, car parking redesigned to also include a drop-off and taxi pick-up point as well as parking spaces.

It is also envisaged the station will link in with the Hebble trail section of the Calderdale Cycle Network connecting south, town centre and north Halifax, and a new entrance to the national Eureka! Museum of Childhood, which is next to the station.

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