First impressions count, which is why Wakefield Council is investing in routes used by people coming to and from Castleford train station.

In March 2023 the Council successfully applied for a grant of £720k to make improvements to some key areas around the station.

Cllr Michael Graham, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Growth, said: “We are pleased to be making this investment as part of our regeneration plans for Castleford, as we re-connect key parts of the town.

“We want to make it easier, safer, and more pleasant to walk from the train station to the town centre. Local businesses will benefit as we are encouraging more people to come into the town centre, and it will also support a greener district.”

The grant, provided by the Transpennine Route Upgrade through their First & Last Mile programme, will enable the Council to focus on four main routes to and from the station – Beancroft Road Subway, Welbeck Street, Station Road pedestrian link and Tickle Cock Bridge.

The Castleford scheme encourages users to park away from the station and walk or cycle into the town centre.

Improvements to street lighting, with additional CCTV cameras will make the station access safer and easier, especially after dark. There will be new public artwork and small landscaping projects in the area.

This investment complements the Council’s master plan for Castleford as well as the Town Deal Funded projects that mainly focus on the Riverside, Henry Moore Square and Sagar Street.

Cllr Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Highways, said: “We want to ensure that we have great links to and from the station as a gateway to the town and to the wider district to help pedestrians and cyclists as well as drivers to get around safely.”

Natalie Hewitt, Senior Sponsor for First and Last Mile explained: “Journeys don’t begin and end at the rail station. The First and Last Mile workstream, as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade, is focused on improving journeys from door to door.

The improvements at Castleford, alongside the second platform which was opened last year, highlight our commitment to improving connectivity and access to rail travel for the town of Castleford and the surrounding area.”

The Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) is a major, multi-billion-pound programme of railway improvements funded by the Department for Transport and delivered by Network Rail.

Castleford Station improvements are due to start in autumn 2023.