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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Huddersfield residents warned of 24-hour road closures and new town centre routes from next week

The town is set to undergo a major transformation

As Huddersfield prepares for a major transformation, residents are being warned of 24-hour road closures and restrictions that will block off part of the town centre until the end of next year.

On Monday (24 June), the area around the Piazza will be closed off to the public, with this expected to be the case until the end of 2025, to allow the massive Our Cultural Heart regeneration project to move forward.

Large panels or ‘hoardings’ will be installed around the site of the former market, with Princess Alexandra Walk no longer accessible to the public and some pavements and parking bays closed.

That same day, £750k works will begin to give the Queensgate and Shorehead stretch of Huddersfield Ring Road a facelift. The project spanning a couple of months will see new curbs, upgraded traffic signals and resurfaced roads, among other improvements, but will require road closures and diversions.

Below is a full breakdown of what you can expect as work gets underway in the coming weeks and months:

Changes around the Piazza

The first phase of Our Cultural Heart focuses on the refurbishment of Queensgate Market. The old market building will eventually house a new food hall, with a library to be located in the east wing and a public square outside.

To make way for this part of the development, hoardings will be put up around the site on Monday so construction works can begin.

Following the installation, there will be several changes to pedestrian routes to ensure the safety of both the public and construction workers as Our Cultural Heart progresses:

  • The pavement on the Queensgate Market side of Peel Street will be closed.
  • Parking bays on Queensgate will be closed from 31 June.
  • Princess Alexandra Walk in the Piazza complex will no longer be accessible to the public including the blue stairs.
  • The pavement on the Queensgate Market side of Queensgate will be closed.

In addition to the changes in June, the crossing by Saint Paul’s Hall will be closed in September 2024. Once this closure is in place, the hoardings will be extended further down Queensgate and onto Queen Street.

The map below shows the updated pedestrian route around the Phase One site. This route is expected to be in place until the end of 2025.

The updated pedestrian route around the Phase One site which is expected to be in place until the end of 2025. Image: Kirklees Council.

The food hall, library and public square are expected to be open to the public by the end of next year. After this, an urban park, museum and gallery, new Queen Street development, live entertainment venue and 350-space car park, will be built between 2026 and 2030.

Works to Huddersfield Ring Road

Kirklees Council will be carrying out major roadworks on Queensgate and around the Shorehead roundabout. This will include resurfacing the carriageway and roundabout, new kerbs, improving the central reservation, and upgrading traffic signals and pedestrian crossing which will include tactile paving.

The project is expected to take around two months to complete and will require some 24-hour road closures. This will be limited from Monday to Thursday 8am until midnight, and again from 4:30pm until midnight on Sundays.

Work will not be carried out on Friday or Saturday in support of the local leisure industry.

The council says that any noisy operational work should be completed by midnight. If the project experiences delays, advance notice will be given to residents and businesses in the area.

David Shepherd, Strategic Director for Growth and Regeneration said: “We are dedicated to improving Kirklees highways. The Huddersfield Ring Road is a vital gateway into Huddersfield town centre and by investing in these works, we are creating better access to town centre shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, and local businesses. The difference will be significant, and I would like to thank people in advance for their patience while these important works are carried out.”

Digital Variable Messaging Signs (VMS) will be in place before the works start, displaying important information. Signed diversion routes for traffic will be in place.

Throughout the works, traffic management will vary with diversion routes in place to support the work phases. While work starts on the Shorehead roundabout, there will be two diversion routes in place. Firstly, via Castlegate, Chapel Hill and Firth Street to Wakefield Road with the second via Wakefield Road, St Andrew’s Road, Gasworks Street, A62 Leeds Road, Southgate and Castlegate.

As work continues on Queensgate, motorists will be diverted to the A62 Castlegate, Unna Way and Southgate.

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