Halifax Railway Station plans: last chance to comment – for now

UPDATE 14 February 2021. Consultation on latest plans for Halifax railway station closes today. So you might just have time to do the online survey! (Halifax Railway Station | Your Voice (westyorks-ca.gov.uk)) Highly positive plans for a new gateway building with enlarged concourse and better have been influenced in part by HADRAG. We rate the scheme very good but have some points that need improving. See our earlier notes further down this post and our response just sent in to the consultations HERE. More detailed plans are due this summer with a further chance to comment. We are expecting more detail on how the new concourse building will link up with the station’s “island” platforms 1 & 2. We understand there could be minor changes on the platforms to help passenger circulation.

Some notes from HADRAG while you review the proposals

HADRAG supports the overall proposals for Halifax station’s new entrance building that will link to the existing platforms whilst retaining the possibility of a third platform in the future. There are details that we want to make sure the planners get right. You can have your say in a current consultation until 14 February. Please join us in supporting the scheme whilst putting forward ideas to make it even better. Here are some points to think about:

  • Much as it would be nice to re-use the 1851 building, it appears too narrow to hold the modern facilities needed.
  • We believe the layout and plan is future-proofed, allowing for further development, including the option of a new ‘platform 3’, which could give amore operational flexibility in the long term as well as more space for passengers.
  • Importance of the pedestrian bridge access on the level, between station concourse and town – iconic designs are suggested! Support active travel is proposed by the reinstated underpass and refurbished ramped pathways (cycle and pedestrian) to Berry Lane, Waterside and the Hebble Trail, as well as at the front of the station.
  • Bus stops are some distance away, and earlier versions of the scheme proposed a mini-bus station at car park level. At least the pedestrian bridge provides reasonably direct access, albeit with a road crossing. The scheme does include space for rail replacement buses to access when needed – alongside taxi and disabled parking right next to the station entrance – and that will be a massive improvement. 
  • Could a high-quality minibus service linking town centre, train and bus stations, Dean Clough and attractions (e.g. Shibden Hall, Bankfield Museum) start from the station entrance? This, of course, would be a separate development.
  • We’d suggest a possible improvement to the ticket office, which is shown, as in many modern stations, with the counter opening directly onto the concourse. Maybe a more enclosed design, more of a walk-in travel shop, that would be quieter for people negotiating complex transactions?
  • Access between ticket hall and ground level. Only one public lift is proposed. The illustrations show a proposed goods lift in the staff area: could this be re-located and made suitable for public use? An alternative would be ramped access but that would be a major additional structure.
  • Access to platforms. We don’t think the present plans involve any significant changes to the island platform but access should improve at least cosmetically.

BB/JSW