The latest plans to upgrade Huddersfield’s 1970s Bus Station have been revealed – and the investment has been doubled to just short of £20 million.
It had been thought that the improvements would cost around £9 million but latest estimates put the cost at £19.9 million.
The bus station will undergo a major revamp both inside and out and the most striking feature will be a sweeping canopy with a living grass roof which will run right across the main frontage from Macaulay Square to Upperhead Row.
Underneath the canopy there will be a ‘cycle hub’ for bike parking as well as seating and new planters.
The Henry Street entrance will be enlarged and will also have a canopy, letting in more natural light, improving security.
Inside, the bus area layout will be made safer for staff and coach bays will be relocated to the opposite end of the bus station to reduce congestion.
There will be a modernised travel centre, new shopfronts, a ‘contemplation room’, a fully accessible Changing Places toilet, disabled toilets and baby change facilities along with new seating, flooring, signage and improved landscaping. The sloping floor will also be addressed to improve safety and accessibility.
The council is looking at how it can encourage more shops or, alternatively, use the retail space for “community benefit.” Previous suggestions have included a GP surgery or a clinic. Read more about that HERE.
The scheme will include some of the latest carbon reduction methods such as solar panels, an air source heat pump and low energy fittings.
The investment will be a partnership between West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which owns the bus station, and Kirklees Council, which owns the car park above.
The bulk of the money (£18.99 million) will come from the Combined Authority via the Transforming Cities Fund while Kirklees will contribute £1 million. The Kirklees works are understood to include improvements to the car park staircase.
The Combined Authority and Kirklees Council have submitted an ‘outline business case’ and approval is expected to be given for that to progress to a ‘full business case’ in late October.
The ‘full business case’ involves obtaining detailed cost estimates for the work. A contractor will also be appointed at an early stage to advise on the scheme and costs.
The latest timescales mean that a planning application could be submitted in summer 2023 with the ‘full business case’ to follow in winter 2023. Construction work could start in summer 2024 and be completed by winter 2025.
Public consultation into the bus station improvements took place last year. Almost three-quarters (72%) of those who responded didn’t think the bus station was attractive or comfortable and 43% said they didn’t feel safe. When asked if they liked the idea of the outside canopy, 76% said they did.
Before the pandemic Huddersfield Bus Station was said to be the busiest in West Yorkshire with more than 37,000 passengers a day in 2018-19. The bus station was opened in 1974.