Funding announced for Kirkgate road improvement project
Work will begin next year to transform the Kirkgate area for road users and pedestrians, after the West Yorkshire Combined Authority gave the funding the green light.
The £6million project will finally see the subways around Kirkgate, which were built in the 1970's, filled in and replaced by storm water storage.
Other improvements include:
• Fully landscaping the roundabout and installing new traffic signals to control traffic and help pedestrians and cyclists cross in safety.
• Opening up Park Street junction to provide better access for vehicles to and from Kirkgate Station and the surrounding residential area.
• Paving Monk Street and closing the junction of Monk Street and Brunswick Street to traffic, improving the conditions for people walking and cycling between the city centre and Kirkgate Station
The Wakefield funding was included in an announcement by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which saw a further £64million of local growth funding confirmed to deliver new infrastructure schemes across the Leeds City Region – which includes Wakefield. This is part of the largest package of Local Growth Deal investment anywhere in the country.
So far, Wakefield has benefitted from significant investment from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, for projects that will create new jobs and boost the economy. This has included:
• £3.7million for the much-needed improvements to Castleford Bus Station
• £7.1million for the Glasshoughton Southern Link Road, which is expected to get underway in 2018.
• £32m has been invested in the Wakefield Eastern Relief Road (WERR), which is set for completion early 2017. The road will reduce traffic congestion, improve links to motorways, reduce fuel costs for businesses and residents and help deliver thousands of new jobs and homes.
• £3m for Wakefield College towards an advanced skills and innovation centre. The £6.5m centre will provide higher level provision to young adults across the district and support businesses, allowing them to access graduates and degree level training for their workforce.
The Leader of Wakefield Council, Cllr Peter Box CBE, who is also Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said: "The funding from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority is real example of devolved power at work. A decision made in the local region by local people to help deliver the specific needs of a local area.
"The Kirkgate scheme will fundamentally transform the way people, in particular pedestrians, can access Kirkgate and is another major step forward for the area.
"Improved access could attract new development and investment, and be a real boost for the local community, which has already seen major improvements to the train station and the new West Yorkshire Archive building."
Work is expected to start on the Kirkgate scheme in April 2017.