Active travel scheme for Pontefract to be discussed by councillors

A £2.5million scheme to make transport and environmental improvements in Pontefract, which will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the town, is to be discussed by Wakefield Council’s Cabinet next week.

The plans will encourage active travel by delivering a ‘Streets for People’ scheme on Horsefair, which will enable and prioritise the movement of people on foot, by bike and by using public transport – reconnecting Pontefract town centre and the castle.

Cabinet will be asked to discuss grant funding from the Transforming Cities

Fund, through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), which is in addition to previously approved funds through the ‘Streets for People’ programme.

Matthew Morley smiling
Cllr Matthew Morley

The creation of safe and healthy street environments puts people and their health at the heart of improving transport networks and places. This approach seeks to coordinate investment around enhancing local connectivity and better manage the adverse impacts of traffic to improve personal safety, reduce air pollution, and provide better quality environments to improve social interaction and physical activity such as walking and cycling.

Cllr Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Highways, said: “This scheme would act as a catalyst for regenerating Pontefract town centre by improving the connection between the town centre and the castle. It would have a number of benefits for residents and businesses as well as encouraging visitors to come and enjoy our district.”

The Horsefair ‘Streets for People’ scheme has been fully consulted on as an individual scheme and was also part of the Pontefract Masterplan consultation. The scheme has been fully designed with a proposed start on site, subject to approval, of late spring/early summer 2022.

Members of Wakefield’s Cabinet are meeting virtually on Tuesday 18 January at 10.30am. The meeting can be watched live or later on the Council’s website. Formal decision making will take place after the meeting.