Rail Station Revamp
Kirklees have just provided some more details of the revamp of Dewsbury railway station forecourt the funding for which was previously announced some months ago.
Kirklees refer to 'consulting on their plans' and the car parks on both sides of the station entrance are owned by the council while the forecourt itself is not and is presumably owned by one of the rail partners.
So presumably this scheme is the result of a combined effort and looks like this:
It's a shame that Kirklees could not publish an architect's impression rather than just this plan view to give us all a better idea of what it will look like. We're sure there must be some available given the consultation they refer to.
So here's an alternative Google Streetview we've cobbled together to show the new pedestrian area leading to the Toucan crossing (that's the red rectangle) giving access to town centre routes.
In essence the idea is to:
Apart from our interests as residents of Dewsbury it is worth bearing in mind that Dewsbury is an important part of the whole Northern Powerhouse concept.
North Kirklees is now included in the economic planning process of the Leeds City Region. The potential to use the under-utilised resources of Dewsbury including new housing and business development is one of the reasons for the importance placed on this entry point to the town now christened; the Dewsbury Rail Station Gateway. A large chunk of the million pound investment in this scheme has come from the Leeds City Region.
This explains why so much emphasis is being placed on the entrance to the town for rail travellers. Especially as excellent rail access to and from Leeds, Manchester and other locations with fast, new, frequent trains is rapidly heading our way over the next two years.
You can download more about how Dewsbury fits into Kirklees strategic plans here.
The new scheme improves the car and taxi drop off points and short term parking while maintaining long term parking provision for current demand - when we have a run down economy. So car parking will be better organised but of no greater capacity. Assuming that development is successful and we have increased demand - where will the car parking go as demand increases?
Improved cycle parking has been provided on Dewsbury station in recent months and this scheme refers to the Toucan crossing enabling cyclists to cross the ring road with pedestrians and the pavement opposite as being 'cycle friendly'.
It would be reasonable to assume that some of the several thousand students arriving at the new colleges in the near future will be bike users. However, there are no cycle routes leading to or from the station on the ring road or other approach roads. So there seems to be something of a disconnect there.
What do we think?
Given the limited wriggle room in a difficult location this looks like a good effort. It is always going to be hard to push back against the motor car, especially when a major road like the ring road runs right past your front door but clearing the space for pedestrians is a major plus.
The planters and seating in the new area to make it a more more visually appealing and sociable space are good.
Work is due to begin in Summer 2018 and will take about 6 months to complete.