Public inquiry to be held into £1.5billion TransPennine route upgrade

A public inquiry will be held at the start of next month into Network Rail’s £1.5billion TransPennine route upgrade, which will bring major disruption to parts of Dewsbury and Mirfield.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 4:00 pm
Mirfield railway station

The scheme will see electrification of the rail line between Huddersfield and Westtown and a doubling of the tracks from two to four.

In total eight bridges will be rebuilt, including two which will result in road closures blocking access routes into and out of Mirfield – Steanard Lane and Colne Bridge Road.

There will be a new, relocated station at Ravensthorpe while Mirfield Railway Station will have a major upgrade.

A new bridge will be built in Ravensthorpe to separate the lines which run to and from Wakefield with those to and from Leeds to help reduce congestion and bring more reliable journeys.

Kirklees Council has been concerned over the level of disruption that will be caused on road and rail and launched a formal objection to the scheme.

However, the council is firmly in favour of the investment and wants the project to go ahead but put in an objection as it felt there were too many unanswered questions about the scale of the disruption faced by local people.

The inquiry will start on November 2 at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield and will be chaired by planning inspector Paul Singleton.

David Vernon, senior sponsor for Network Rail’s TransPennine route upgrade, said: “Over the past two and a half years we have been consulting with people in the community, passengers, stakeholders and landowners on proposals for major railway upgrades between Huddersfield and Westtown.

“As well as sending information to over 25,000 residents, we held two rounds of public consultation and a further public event to share our final plans. We submitted a Transport and Works Order Act to the Secretary of State for Transport in April.

“The public inquiry, which starts in November, is a key part of the approval process for the major improvements

“If approved, the project will bring a more reliable railway with more trains, more seats, faster journeys and better connections across the north.

“We will be working closely with train operators and the wider rail industry to give passengers plenty of notice of any changes to services and minimise disruption as much as possible.”

A decision is expected by early 2023. If successful, work could begin on site later that year, with completion in 2026.