£6m funding for Kirkgate plans

Coun Peter Box.
Coun Peter Box.

A £6m project to improve roads around Kirkgate is expected to begin next April.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) has given the green light to funding for the scheme, which will include the filling in of subways built in the 1970s.

The leader of Wakefield Council and chairman of the WYCA Coun Peter Box said: “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 railway station and the new West Yorkshire Archive building.”

Other project work, designed to improve the area for road users and pedestrians, includes the landscaping of, and creation of new traffic signals at Kirkgate roundabout and the opening up of Park Street junction to provide access for vehicles to and from Kirkgate Station.

Meanwhile, the junction of Monk Street and Brunswick Street will be closed to traffic to provide better conditions for people walking and cycling between the city and station.

The road improvements form part of phase one of the Kirkgate Masterplan, which aims to regenerate the area.

The first phase has also included the refurbishment of Kirkgate Station, which was completed last September following a campaign by the Express, and the creation of the new West Yorkshire Archive Building, expected to open in February.

Coun Box said: “I would like to thank the Express, local residents and everyone who is playing their part in making Kirkgate a safer, pleasant, more accessible part of our city.”