By Leah Conway –
Kirklees Council’s objection to Network Rail’s Trans-Pennine Route Upgrade has been officially withdrawn after ongoing lengthy negotiations with Network Rail.
Negotiations were concerned with minimising the impact of the upgrade works for Kirklees residents – examining traffic, noise and environmental impact.
Now given the go-ahead, the multi-billion-pound programme aims to improve the connectivity of Kirklees and the North. The upgrade plans include extensive changes on an eight-mile section of the railway between Huddersfield and Dewsbury.
Kirklees Council will continue to engage with Network Rail’s plans and actions across the project’s completion.
There have been three legally binding agreements with Network Rail that covers Council concerns for Kirklees residents. The agreements cover highways issues and the sustained operation of the household waste recycling centres at Emerald Street and Weaving Lane. Agreements also secured financial contributions for replacement tree planting and long-term management of woodland areas post completion of the project.
Additionally, a list of planning conditions will be included in the inquiry process for the planning inspector to consider.
Economic future of Kirklees
Councillor Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “We welcome this investment in Kirklees. We are certain that the Transpennine Route Upgrade is in the best interests of us all. Improved travel from Kirklees and into the North of England is essential for our economic future.
“As a result of the close partnership working between the council and Network Rail, we are now in a position to withdraw our objection to the project and no longer need to take part in the public inquiry.
We will continue to protect the interests of the residents and businesses of Kirklees and we look forward to seeing this ambitious programme come to life.”
What will the upgrade entail?
The Trans-Pennine Route Upgrade plan includes electrifying the route, doubling the tracks from Huddersfield to Dewsbury from two to four and making improvements to the four stations along the route: Huddersfield, Deighton, Mirfield and Ravensthorpe.
Other plans include changes to separate the lines which go to and from Leeds from the lines which go to and from Wakefield.
The aim of the upgrade is to mean more trains, better journey times and greater reliability for local commuters.