We have received the following letter asking for feedback on proposed work to repair the footbridge at Halifax Railway Station. It looks like the process will involve shutting the footbridge and replacing it with a temporary structure that will mean access will be limited to those who can manage staircases. Here are the full details – there’s an email to send your feedback to at the foot of the article. We’d encourage anyone who this might affect to get in touch with them to voice your concerns.
We are contacting you today seeking comments as part of a public consultation process for proposed engineering works at Halifax station, West Yorkshire. Halifax Station is located on the eastern edge of Halifax town centre, approximately 200m south of Halifax Minster and immediately north of the Eureka Children’s Museum.
The footbridge provides access between the station entrance, car park and ticket hall area to the platforms 1 and 2. The footbridge is the only means of access to the platforms. The footbridge provides both stepped access (via a staircase) and step – free access (via a lift) to the platforms.
Recent inspections have identified that the existing footbridge requires strengthening. While the works are carried out, it is expected that the footbridge will need to be temporarily closed. Please note that these works relate only to the strengthening of the exiting footbridge and are not linked to other ongoing proposals for the refurbishment of Halifax Station.
This consultation will form part of a Diversity Impact Assessment (DIA) which is being prepared by JNP Group on behalf of Amco Giffen and Network Rail. The purpose of the DIA is to assess the impact of the proposed engineering works on characteristics that are protected by the Equality Act (age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation and marriage/civil partnerships). Once the potential impacts have been identified, the DIA can be used to plan ways to mitigate them wherever possible.
Please click here to view the station on Google Maps.
Scope of Works
While the works are carried out the footbridge will be closed, and small sections of the platform beneath and around the footbridge may also need to be sectioned off.
To retain access to the platforms, a temporary stepped footbridge is proposed to be provided. While the exact details have not yet been determined, it is expected that the footbridge will be accessed from the adjacent car park.
It is expected that the temporary footbridge will have stepped access only and so will not be accessible to everyone. This includes those who are unable to use steps, such as wheelchair users or those with children in pushchairs and prams. The topography and availability of the land around the station and platforms means it is not feasible to provide a temporary footbridge with step-free access, such as lifts or ramps for passengers to cross to the island platform.
As a result, it is likely that an accessible minibus service will be provided as a shuttle service for users unable to use the temporary stepped footbridge. This includes passengers who are currently only able to use the lifts to travel between the concourse and platforms at Halifax Stations. This service will take users to the closest nearby station which provides step free access to both platforms. At this time, it is considered likely that this will either be Low Moor Station or Brighouse Station.
The driving journey time to Low Moor and Brighouse Station is 20 and 14 minutes, respectively. The decision as to the provision and nature of this shuttle service will be subject to change as the scope of works evolves and feedback from local stakeholders is considered.
Once the works have been completed the existing footbridge will reopen in broadly the same form as in the existing situation, and thus no long-term changes to station access will be experienced by users. The works are at an early stage and no information is available at this time regarding how long the bridge will be closed for, or the start and end dates of the works.
With regards to the information above, we would appreciate it if you could provide comments on whether the proposed works will have an impact on the stakeholders that you or your organisation represents. Your comments are important to us, as the DIA aims to ensure that the work does not unintentionally have a disproportionate negative effect on any persons protected by the Equality Act.
We have contacted you or your organisation directly as part of the consultation process, as we have identified that you may be able to provide comments on behalf of those affected by the works from a diversity and inclusion perspective. We would appreciate it if you do not share this email or its contents with others. If you are aware of any other individuals or organisations who may be able to provide comments related to diversity and inclusion, please contact us directly to discuss this further.
If you have any comments to share with us in relation to access and inclusion, please provide your response via email before 23rd August 2022. We look forward to hearing from you soon, however if you have any questions, please feel free to contact the team by email at DIA@jnpgroup.co.uk.