Holmfirth Town Centre Access Plan - March 2021 Update

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The story so far

The Holmfirth Town Centre Access Plan, led by Kirklees Council, is funded through the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal.

Kirklees Council carried out a significant amount of work to assess the road use and layout in Holmfirth town centre. This area of Holmfirth is unique and provides many challenges to making major alterations to the roads, but the impact of congestion meant consideration for improvements were necessary.

The aims of the improvements were to:

  • create a more attractive environment for residents, businesses and visitors
  • ease traffic congestion in Holmfirth
  • improve efficiency and journey time reliability for all road users
  • create better access for local residents, workers and businesses

The council collated information from investigations and traffic simulations, looking at where the issues and journey time delays are in Holmfirth. They then used this information to develop and test a number of improvement options, in order to develop a preferred access plan option.

Initial Public Consultation – March/April 2019

From 4 March – 5 April 2019 a public engagement exercise on proposed plans for major road improvements to Holmfirth town centre, was open to the public. During the consultation, the council presented the first draft plans of all the options for the proposed improvements including their preferred proposal to build a new link road between Hollowgate and the A6024, Huddersfield Road. The public were able to view the plans and provide feedback on them as well as general comments on wider issues and areas for consideration.

Engagement events

An exhibition display was available for the public to visit for the duration of the engagement period. This was hosted at both Holmfirth and Huddersfield Libraries as accessible town centre locations.

In total over the duration of the engagement exercise approximately over 2,500 respondents participated: 1923 completed surveys (of which 474 were submitted in paper format), one petition with 553 signatories, four letters, two stakeholder reports and 114 emails were received. There were over 9,000 visits to the engagement website, and engagement via Kirklees Council’s social media and communication channels meant that close to 84,000 individuals were potentially reached about the activity.

Analysis

The results of the public engagement exercise have been presented in full. You can view these in the documents library section of this website, or download a copy by clicking here. (opens in a new tab).

Headline results

Overall the majority of respondents did not agree that the preferred town centre access plan proposal would achieve the aims:

  • Four fifths of respondents disagreed (81.3%)
  • Out of this, the highest proportion strongly disagreed (61%)
  • Only around a tenth of respondents agreed (13%)

Initial Consultation Conclusion

Without the backing of local residents and businesses, there was no possibility of delivering the Holmfirth Town Centre Access Plan in its original format. Having listened to the issues raised at the initial engagement events, the council developed a different scheme in line with the Holme Valley Neighbourhood Development Plan. The new scheme would still reduce journey times and increase capacity, alongside making improvements to public realm.

Revised Scheme

The revised scheme balanced the need to address the transport problem with the views of the public and local community. The revised option still includes the changes required to improve journey times through the town centre, including:

  • Improvements to the Victoria Street / Huddersfield Road traffic signals.
  • A signalised (Puffin) pedestrian crossing to replace the Victoria Street zebra crossing.
  • Changes to the parking and loading arrangements on Victoria Street.
  • Improved cycle facilities including cycle storage and E-Bike charging facilities.

Further Consultations – September 2019 and January 2020

A further public consultation was held in September 2019 to seek views on the revised scheme proposals, which found the new option was broadly supported by locals. You can read more information about the outcomes of these consultations here.

Despite this support, some businesses located on or close to Victoria Street had concerns in relation to the removal of on-street parking and the location of the proposed loading bay. For this reason, following engagement with the local Ward Members and the Holmfirth Business Association, a further targeted drop-in event was held in January 2020 to allow local businesses the opportunity to view the plans and discuss concerns with the project team.

The feedback from the local businesses was used to finalise the scheme plan for submission of the Outline Business Case (OBC) to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

What has happened since Outline Business Case (OBC) Submission?

Following the outcomes of the public consultations and engagements with local businesses, the OBC for the project was submitted to Combined Authority in March 2020. The OBC has now been approved by the Combined Authority, with funding provided to allow the project team to proceed with developing the detailed design and Full Business Case for the scheme.

The latest changes to the scheme design are listed below:

  • Wider pedestrian footways throughout Holmfirth town centre.
  • The road at Hollowgate will be narrower with some reduced parking to create a wider footway that will provide a safer environment for pedestrians.
  • The Victoria Street loading bay location will be on the south side of Victoria Street following consultation with businesses and analysis of loading usage
  • The project team is working on solutions for an additional loading facility within the vicinity of Victoria Street.
  • There will be two new disabled parking bays on Victoria Street and an additional bay in the expanded Huddersfield Road car park, taking the total here to three.
  • The Huddersfield Road car park has been designed with multiple water and electricity utility points to allow the space to function as a market and event space when required. The car park will be future-proofed to allow for Electric Vehicle charging points to be installed with minimal disruption.
  • The planned relocation of the Towngate zebra crossing will not go ahead due to safety issues related to sight lines. The crossing will remain in its existing location.
  • The Huddersfield Road car park will be split-level to accommodate the existing car park slope and to ensure light is not blocked to the businesses located adjacent.
  • An additional pedestrian crossing on Huddersfield Road is planned to ensure pedestrians have a link to the new electric car and bike charging facilities.

Visualisations of the scheme

You are able to view the latest visualisations in the documents section.

Contact us

If you wish to contact us regarding this scheme you can do so using the following methods. Please be aware that we will operate a reduced staff over the Easter period and therefore there may be a delay in responding to your query.

Email:  yourvoice@westyorks-ca.gov.uk

Phone: 0113 245 7676 (Metroline Contact Centre) 

Post: Freepost CONSULTATION TEAM (WYCA)*

*Please be aware that, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the majority of our staff are working from home and therefore there will be significant delays in receiving and responding to post. It is strongly recommended that you contact us via another method if possible. 


The story so far

The Holmfirth Town Centre Access Plan, led by Kirklees Council, is funded through the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal.

Kirklees Council carried out a significant amount of work to assess the road use and layout in Holmfirth town centre. This area of Holmfirth is unique and provides many challenges to making major alterations to the roads, but the impact of congestion meant consideration for improvements were necessary.

The aims of the improvements were to:

  • create a more attractive environment for residents, businesses and visitors
  • ease traffic congestion in Holmfirth
  • improve efficiency and journey time reliability for all road users
  • create better access for local residents, workers and businesses

The council collated information from investigations and traffic simulations, looking at where the issues and journey time delays are in Holmfirth. They then used this information to develop and test a number of improvement options, in order to develop a preferred access plan option.

Initial Public Consultation – March/April 2019

From 4 March – 5 April 2019 a public engagement exercise on proposed plans for major road improvements to Holmfirth town centre, was open to the public. During the consultation, the council presented the first draft plans of all the options for the proposed improvements including their preferred proposal to build a new link road between Hollowgate and the A6024, Huddersfield Road. The public were able to view the plans and provide feedback on them as well as general comments on wider issues and areas for consideration.

Engagement events

An exhibition display was available for the public to visit for the duration of the engagement period. This was hosted at both Holmfirth and Huddersfield Libraries as accessible town centre locations.

In total over the duration of the engagement exercise approximately over 2,500 respondents participated: 1923 completed surveys (of which 474 were submitted in paper format), one petition with 553 signatories, four letters, two stakeholder reports and 114 emails were received. There were over 9,000 visits to the engagement website, and engagement via Kirklees Council’s social media and communication channels meant that close to 84,000 individuals were potentially reached about the activity.

Analysis

The results of the public engagement exercise have been presented in full. You can view these in the documents library section of this website, or download a copy by clicking here. (opens in a new tab).

Headline results

Overall the majority of respondents did not agree that the preferred town centre access plan proposal would achieve the aims:

  • Four fifths of respondents disagreed (81.3%)
  • Out of this, the highest proportion strongly disagreed (61%)
  • Only around a tenth of respondents agreed (13%)

Initial Consultation Conclusion

Without the backing of local residents and businesses, there was no possibility of delivering the Holmfirth Town Centre Access Plan in its original format. Having listened to the issues raised at the initial engagement events, the council developed a different scheme in line with the Holme Valley Neighbourhood Development Plan. The new scheme would still reduce journey times and increase capacity, alongside making improvements to public realm.

Revised Scheme

The revised scheme balanced the need to address the transport problem with the views of the public and local community. The revised option still includes the changes required to improve journey times through the town centre, including:

  • Improvements to the Victoria Street / Huddersfield Road traffic signals.
  • A signalised (Puffin) pedestrian crossing to replace the Victoria Street zebra crossing.
  • Changes to the parking and loading arrangements on Victoria Street.
  • Improved cycle facilities including cycle storage and E-Bike charging facilities.

Further Consultations – September 2019 and January 2020

A further public consultation was held in September 2019 to seek views on the revised scheme proposals, which found the new option was broadly supported by locals. You can read more information about the outcomes of these consultations here.

Despite this support, some businesses located on or close to Victoria Street had concerns in relation to the removal of on-street parking and the location of the proposed loading bay. For this reason, following engagement with the local Ward Members and the Holmfirth Business Association, a further targeted drop-in event was held in January 2020 to allow local businesses the opportunity to view the plans and discuss concerns with the project team.

The feedback from the local businesses was used to finalise the scheme plan for submission of the Outline Business Case (OBC) to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

What has happened since Outline Business Case (OBC) Submission?

Following the outcomes of the public consultations and engagements with local businesses, the OBC for the project was submitted to Combined Authority in March 2020. The OBC has now been approved by the Combined Authority, with funding provided to allow the project team to proceed with developing the detailed design and Full Business Case for the scheme.

The latest changes to the scheme design are listed below:

  • Wider pedestrian footways throughout Holmfirth town centre.
  • The road at Hollowgate will be narrower with some reduced parking to create a wider footway that will provide a safer environment for pedestrians.
  • The Victoria Street loading bay location will be on the south side of Victoria Street following consultation with businesses and analysis of loading usage
  • The project team is working on solutions for an additional loading facility within the vicinity of Victoria Street.
  • There will be two new disabled parking bays on Victoria Street and an additional bay in the expanded Huddersfield Road car park, taking the total here to three.
  • The Huddersfield Road car park has been designed with multiple water and electricity utility points to allow the space to function as a market and event space when required. The car park will be future-proofed to allow for Electric Vehicle charging points to be installed with minimal disruption.
  • The planned relocation of the Towngate zebra crossing will not go ahead due to safety issues related to sight lines. The crossing will remain in its existing location.
  • The Huddersfield Road car park will be split-level to accommodate the existing car park slope and to ensure light is not blocked to the businesses located adjacent.
  • An additional pedestrian crossing on Huddersfield Road is planned to ensure pedestrians have a link to the new electric car and bike charging facilities.

Visualisations of the scheme

You are able to view the latest visualisations in the documents section.

Contact us

If you wish to contact us regarding this scheme you can do so using the following methods. Please be aware that we will operate a reduced staff over the Easter period and therefore there may be a delay in responding to your query.

Email:  yourvoice@westyorks-ca.gov.uk

Phone: 0113 245 7676 (Metroline Contact Centre) 

Post: Freepost CONSULTATION TEAM (WYCA)*

*Please be aware that, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the majority of our staff are working from home and therefore there will be significant delays in receiving and responding to post. It is strongly recommended that you contact us via another method if possible. 

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