Articles & Case Studies


Posted: Thursday 30th August 2018

Pedestrian subways in Wakefield city centre have been reborn as tanks for excess flood water to prevent flooding as part of a £6 million regenerations scheme.

An innovative re-design of the city's Kirkgate roundabout means the former pedestrian subways, built in the 1970s, will now hold excess storm water, which will gradually be released back into the sewer system, once a spell of wet weather is over.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Wakefield Council scheme makes the Kirkgate area more accessible with improvements for pedestrians, cyclists, buses and motorists. Future development and investment in this part of the city will also be supported by the new infrastructure that is now in place as a result of the scheme.

As well as re-purposing the subways, the work involved installing new kerbs, paving, and traffic signals to improve traffic flow through the large roundabout and providing controlled crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.

Re-opening the nearby Park Street junction now provides better access for vehicles to and from Kirkgate Station and the surrounding residential area. Other changes include Monk Street being paved and the closing of the Monk Street and Brunswick Street junction to traffic to improve conditions for people walking and cycling between the city centre and the nearby Kirkgate Station.

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: "Through its West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, the Combined Authority has committed over £45 million to support infrastructure schemes in the Wakefield district, including the completed £33 million Eastern Relief Road, the £6 million Pontefract Northern Relief Road and the creation of 150 new park and ride spaces at South Elmsall and Fitzwilliam rail stations.

"As well as reducing congestion, improving conditions for cyclist and pedestrians and reducing the risk of flooding, this Kirkgate scheme will support economic growth and new jobs."

Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: "It's a great day for Kirkgate as this important scheme is now finished and it represents another major step forward for the area.

"In the longer term it will bring great benefits for the district as having the right infrastructure in place could lead to new development and investment, which would provide a real boost for the local community."

The scheme has been financed through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority's 'West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund', part of the Leeds City Region Growth Deal. A £1billion package of Government investment through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region. Overall the West Yorkshire Combined Authority has committed £147 million to schemes across West Yorkshire and the City Region through the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund and Growth Deal.

In recent years there have been other major improvements to the Kirkgate area with the refurbishment of the rail station and the opening of the new West Yorkshire History Centre which houses the West Yorkshire archives.

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