Kirklees Council will continue to engage with local businesses over proposed improvements to Huddersfield Town Centre despite previous objections to the plans.

The improvements to Huddersfield Town Centre, outlined in a recent blueprint, will include more routes for walking and cycling.

Kirklees Cabinet Committee for Local Issues approved the Traffic Regulation Orders to provide a safe route for cyclists and pedestrians on Queen Street, Cross Church Street and King Street meaning work can continue here.

However, local businesses have objected to the plans as the changes could lead to restricted access to their buildings while there were further concerns raised over the use of disabled parking in the town centre being affected by restrictions to off-street parking.

Kirklees Council sought to address the concerns of local businesses by outlining an Authorised User Policy, which would allow businesses to apply for access and by offering to waive any restrictions for business owners who own a blue badge to allow for more accessible parking.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) could also be implemented for business owners to gain access to the areas restricted to vehicles.

The work, due to be complete in summer 2021, will prevent unauthorised traffic from cars and other vehicles in certain areas of the town centre.

Cllr Cathy Scott, Kirklees Council Cabinet Member, said: “We need to remember that our town centres are evolving and the way we have done things in the past is likely to be very different in the future.

“Introducing the restrictions and the development of an authorised user scheme are key steps that enable the scheme to be delivered in line with our objectives for the area, our town centre and the Huddersfield Blueprint.

“Cross Church Street connects the Cultural Heart to the retail centre and as such needs to reflect the town in the best possible light.

“We hope that by addressing the issues raised in the objections we can move forward with the development for the benefit of everyone using the town. However, our officers will continue to be available to discuss individual business concerns whilst the scheme progresses.

“The council remains committed to working with the local business community to make Huddersfield a welcoming and accessible town in order to support the local economy and provide opportunities for culture, leisure and retail for people who visit, live or work in the town centre.”

The improvements to Huddersfield Town Centre are being delivered through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, which is aimed at enabling more people to travel by bike or on foot, in partnership with Kirklees Council.