Bus station planned for this year

CLEAR UP The site of the proposed bus station and library.
CLEAR UP The site of the proposed bus station and library.

A town centre eyesore is expected to be tidied up this year after Kirklees Council announced work would start on Heckmondwike’s new bus station.

Plans have been in the pipeline for a bus station and library on town centre land for years.

The land, where the old George pub used to stand, was compulsorily purchased by Kirklees Council more than three years ago and cleared to make way for the new facility.

Since then the land, surrounded by blue hoardings, has become overgrown and attracted litter.

But this week the land was cleaned up – and a Kirklees Council spokeswoman said the council hoped to start work on the bus station later this year.

Coun David Sheard (Lab, Heckmondwike) said the council’s intention was to get the bus station built and then start work on the library later.

He said: “The library will be built some time later – it depends when we have got the money. We want to get started on the bus station as soon as possible to get the buses off the road.”

Coun Sheard said as part of the bus station work, the land closest to the pavement would be grassed over and the hoardings removed.

Simon Thirkill, Heckmondwike Business Alliance chairman, said the news was fantastic: “Any improvement on that land will be gratefully received. It’s been a long haul but it will be a definite benefit to the town.

“Well done to the council for persevering with it.”

Meanwhile Facebook fans welcomed the news.

Debra Cousins said: “Heckmondwike definitely still needs a bus station. It also still needs a library whether it be a new one or the existing one. A lot of people do actually use the library and it would be more accessible if it was in the town centre.”

Sharon Hobson Brogden said: “After all the letters I’ve written to the council asking when work will start, I will be a bit annoyed if they put something else there!”

Linda Hudson said: “The buses need to be removed from next to the park off the road to keep traffic moving in Heckmondwike! More people would use library in the centre.” Phil Heppenstall said: “A bus station would be good. It’s never obvious which street and which side of the road to wait for a bus out of Heckmondwike. Could live without a library though!”

Stacey Hardcastle said: “I like the characteristics of the old library. They should keep that one and improve or renovate it.”

And Ian White added: “A bus station is essential to relieve congestion in Heckmondwike town centre.”