Upgrade plans for ‘poor quality’ facilities at Wakefield Kirkgate Station

Kirkgate railway station.
Kirkgate railway station.

‘Poor-quality’ facilities at Kirkgate could be upgraded after a train operator identified it as a key station for its London-bound service.

Passenger numbers at the station are on the increase and Grand Central is keen to capitalise on the trend.

The company runs direct Kings Cross services through Kirkgate which it has described as a ‘growth market’, and improvements in the pipeline include a new waiting area.

The proposed glass structure would sit between platforms two and three and replace the small existing shelter.

The heated building would also contain a waiting area, cafe, passenger toilets and facilities to allow staff to be based at the station.

There could also be improvements to the main station building with the installation of glazed doors and shutters to the main tickets office.

A statement, put forward as part of the plans reads:

“Passenger numbers are increasing at this station and the existing facilities are not suitable anymore.

“The direct London services have attracted a large increase in passenger numbers.

“In order to support and encourage the increase the growth in passenger numbers and the utilisation of this station, enhanced facilities are now required.

“Wakefield Kirkgate currently offers Grand Central’s customers limited facilities during normal working hours. On platform two and three there are poor-quality waiting facilities that are predominantly open and exposed to the weather.

“The proposal to provide doors to the ticket hall has come about as a result of the need to provide protection from the wind and rain inside the hall.”

The station was criticised by the secretary of state for transport in 2009, Lord Adonis, who said it was one of the worst station he had visited in Britain.

In 2012 the Express won a three-year campaign to have the station staffed after it fell into a dilapidated state.

Built in 1854, the main station building is a Grade II-listed structure. Applicant, JMD Rail Ltd, says the latest plans will be assessed for their impact on the listed status.