Plans to change face of Pontefract

Campaigners are calling for transport minister Lord Andrew Adonis to visit Monkhill Railway station which is in desperate need of a revamp before a new London service starts there from December
Campaigners are calling for transport minister Lord Andrew Adonis to visit Monkhill Railway station which is in desperate need of a revamp before a new London service starts there from December
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AMBITIOUS plans for regeneration projects across Pontefract are moving ahead, claim council chiefs.

Plans for a £600,000 scheme to rectify traffic problems at the notorious Town End junction could end years of traffic misery by 2013.

Coun Denise Jeffery, deputy leader or the council, told the Express that funding is now available to replace the existing traffic light system and completion of the works could be as early as next year. Coun Jeffery said: “We have listened to what people want at Town End and consulted the public for more than a year.

“We’ll construct two mini-roundabouts to replace the traffic lights – that’s what the people want.”

Town End – which became a signalised junction in 1996 after replacing two mini-roundabouts – will be reconstructed to a layout similar to the one it replaced.

Coun Jeffery said the Tanshelf area of the town had been identified for several developments which could take off this year.

She said she expected Tesco to submit a planning application this year to develop a new store at Stuart Road car park.

The council is looking into purchasing the fire station on Stuart Road for use as a temp orary car park for the proposed supermarket.

The fire service has purchased land at Stumpcross for the development of a new station.

Coun Jeffery said: “With Tanshelf we’re looking at a number of projects. At the former Prince of Wales Colliery, UK Coal are looking to build around 900 homes and we’re working with them to discuss their progress.

“They’re starting to clear the site and we’re hoping to put a bid forward for a link road between Park Road and the motorways.”

A masterplan for Monkhill station is also back on the table and is to be considered by senior councillors at the end of the month.

Plans include improving access to the station, putting security measures in place and building 49 parking spaces.

But Coun Jeffery said residents needed to prove to transport operator Metro that improvements were needed.

She said: “We’ve got to prove to the powers that be – Metro – that the Monkhill scheme is worth supporting.

“We’ve got funding and we want people to start using it and if they do, it will help us with trying to convince other transport operators to change their routes to go to Monkhill.

“If people buy into these plans it could really change the face of the town.”