The government has confirmed that £48 million from its levelling up fund would be used to make major improvements to the Penistone train line, which will improve the reliability of rail travel between Sheffield and Huddersfield.
The funding will also be used to improve station amenities like as electric vehicle charging points, auto clubs, cycle rental, and parcel delivery lockers.
It will include station improvements creating better access and waiting facilities, increasing the speed of travel along the line and upgrading the rail infrastructure – including doubling sections of track, which will allow for two trains to travel on the northern section of the line every hour, in both directions.
Councillor Cathy Scott, Leader of Kirklees Council and Cabinet Member for Transport, said:
“Here in Kirklees, our connectedness is one of our greatest strengths. We not only have great towns and beautiful countryside, we’re also slap bang in the middle of some of the north’s most influential cities – and our rail links help connect us with those cities, with the rest of the north, beyond that, the whole of the UK. The benefits of improving these connections, both to individual residents and to our local economy as a whole, are huge.
“It’s also important to remember that this project is part of a much bigger picture in terms of developing Kirklees’ transport system, which will also help make public transport a more viable option across the district, tying in with our green agenda. For example, as Huddersfield is a stop on the Transpennine Route – which is currently being upgraded – there is also the opportunity to connect more people to this and other planned infrastructure projects.
“It’s very exciting to see so much transformation across Kirklees and beyond.”
Councillor Graham Turner, Cabinet Member for Finance and Regeneration, said:
“I am delighted that the Levelling Up Fund bid for this project has been successful and will allow us to deliver significant improvements to the Penistone line and provide numerous benefits to businesses and communities along the route.
“Our transport links not only give us the opportunity to broaden the labour market for businesses in our area but provides easier and faster access to employment opportunities and leisure activities or events in the wider region.
“We submitted four Kirklees bids for Levelling Up funds, and all have now been successful. That is testament to the hard work our officers have put into designing and producing high quality bids. I want to thank Tracy Brabin, all the MPs, businesses and local people who supported us to put some brilliant plans together.
“We will keep working to bring investment to all parts of Kirklees and this great selection of ambitious plans will help us deliver the economic growth we all need.”
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