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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Huddersfield station revamp underway with plan to improve accessibility

Passengers falling at the station entrance is said to be a common occurrence.

Huddersfield Railway Station is undergoing major transformation, with plans submitted to boost accessibility at the historic station.

The Grade I listed building at St George’s Square has been hailed one of the best train stations in Britain. However, while it may have significant historic value, Transpennine Express says it hasn’t been adapted to provide a suitable level of access.

Some of the proposed installations at Huddersfield Railway Station. Image: Transpennine Express

The transport operator has submitted plans to Kirklees Council which would make the station more accessible, as part of the wider Transpennine Route Upgrade scheme.

In its supporting documents, Transpennine Express says: “Accessibility to the station is particularly challenging to those with an impairment. In the UK nearly two million people live with sight loss, and face a much higher risk at train stations.

“Proposed access improvements to the station entrance will provide an approach that is sympathetic to the historic building whilst addressing the existing issues with accessibility to and from the station.”

Among the suggested improvements are the addition of handrails to slopes and steps, more lighting, and signage to highlight the current access ramp.

The document continues: “Our designs will aim to provide simple proposals that can be implemented in a manner that has minimal effect to the building’s heritage yet is effective in addressing the need for improved access to the station.

“Incidents of passengers tripping / falling is commonplace at the station entrance and exemplify the need for access enhancements.”

Aside from benefits for accessibility, Huddersfield station is set to become more well-connected with other destinations in the North including Manchester, Leeds and York, as part of the wider TransPennine Route Upgrade (TRU).

The scheme will see two new platforms created and extensions of the existing platforms. New bridges and lifts will be installed, and the station roof will be restored.

On top of this, travellers can expect new toilet facilities, a refurbished tearoom, and an improved customer information service.

The TRU hopes to provide faster and more frequent services, and greener, cleaner trains.

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