Wakefield Council’s decision makers will be asked to give the green light to £3.5million of transport improvements when they meet next week.
Following successful recent bids, the district is set to benefit from £2.8million of funding from the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund and £720,000 of funding from Network Rail. The Active Travel Fund will support the completion of two schemes which will make it easier and safer for residents to walk and cycle around the district.
This includes £2.55million to extend the existing Dando Way to provide a link between Ackworth and Fitzwilliam for cycling and walking and to upgrade part of the existing route in Ackworth. The route will be widened to provide more space for cycling and walking. The upgrading of existing paths around the southside of Fitzwilliam Country Park will allow walking and cycling access to the railway station at Fitzwilliam all year round.
The funding from Network Rail will allow for improvements to be made in and around Castleford Train Station.
Cllr Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Highways, commented on the Active Travel funding: “Active travel creates healthier lifestyles and a healthier environment, and that’s why we want to make it easier for our residents to choose alternatives to using a car, by improving conditions for pedestrians and cyclists and access to employment and train stations.”
Cllr Michael Graham, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Growth, said of the Network Rail funding: “It is important that as part of our regeneration plans for Castleford we re-connect key parts of the town. Making it easier, safer, and more pleasant to walk from the train station to the town centre is central to us doing that.”
“This will give our local businesses a real boost and bring more money into the town centre, as well as contributing to a greener district. The station improvements in 2022 have already had a significant impact and received positive feedback. It’s great to continue the positivity around the station and the surrounding area.”
The other £224,171 scheme which will be completed from the Active Travel Fund is to upgrade part of Grandstand Road at Outwood by resurfacing and widening a 500m section of path that connects Outwood railway station to the Junction 41 Industrial Park and a new pedestrian crossing on Lingwell Gate Lane.
For Castleford train station, improvements to the town’s transport hubs are an important part of the Council’s ambitious regeneration plans for the town centre. Currently the routes from the train station to the shops, bars and cafes are disconnected.
The funding will allow for further lighting and CCTV to ensure that residents and visitors feel and are safer when walking through town, as well as increasing its visual appeal through the installation of new and vibrant artwork, signage, green areas and new seating.
The decision will be taken at the next Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 13 June.