Final design revealed for £2.5m ‘Streets for People’ scheme

The final designs of a £2.5m environmental and transport improvement scheme for Pontefract have been unveiled by Wakefield Council.

The Streets for People project, on Horsefair, is intended to reconnect the town centre with the castle and make it easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport.

It is part of a wider plan for Pontefract town centre, which includes environmental improvements in Ropergate to encourage a café-style culture. It features greener streets which are easy to cross, less noisy and with good amenities.

Councillor Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for planning and highways, said: “We want this transformation to make people feel prouder and safer in the place they call home, to increase footfall for a vibrant town centre, and to create great connections that appeal to residents and visitors.”

Cllr George Ayre, Wakefield Council’s deputy cabinet member for planning and highways, said: “This scheme will act as a catalyst for regenerating Pontefract town centre by improving the connection between the town centre and the castle.”

The scheme’s plans will be on display at Pontefract Library and Aspire@ThePark from 28 February to 14 March.

It is being funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority through its Streets for People (£1m) and Transforming Cities (£1.5m) funds.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “Making it easier to walk, cycle and use public transport is a vital part of my commitment to make transport work for people and tackle the climate emergency on our way to becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.

“That is why I am pleased to see these proposals, which will enable people to make the most of Pontefract and all it has to offer.”

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “From connecting us with the places we need to go, to tackling congestion and improving air quality, we know getting more people walking, cycling and using public transport will help make our region an even better place to live, work and play.”

This is the catalyst project for the Reconnecting Pontefract Masterplan which was designed to consolidate and transform the town, reconnecting the town centre with its communities, transport hubs and destinations such as the castle, racecourse, New College and Aspire@The Park.

Work is scheduled to start in the summer of 2022 and be completed by spring 2023.

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