Public toilets could be installed at Wakefield Kirkgate station

Plans: Toilets could be installed at Wakefield Kirkgate station.
Plans: Toilets could be installed at Wakefield Kirkgate station.

Public toilets could be installed at Wakefield Kirkgate railway station under new plans.

An application has been submitted to Wakefield Council to convert an unused room off platform one – where trains to Normanton, Castleford and Leeds stop – into toilets.

The Grade-II listed station, used by Northern and Grand Central trains, and neighbouring streets have undergone regeneration in recent years and Wakefield Council considers it an area that needs significant investment.

Supporting information with the planning application states:

“Wakefield has been identified as a growth market by Grand Central.

“As passenger numbers grow so does the need for station-based staff to operate a safe and efficient environment.

“With expected increase in footfall and passenger numbers at this location there are plans to carry out other significant enhancement works which will in turn encourage further growth.” Work to revamp the station – which dates back to 1864 – worth £4.5 million was undertaken in 2013 and 2015, following a campaign backed by the Express.

And a further £6 million was spent on the roundabout at the end of the street and the pedestrian subway was filled in.

The past decade has seen a number of changes to the area including the opening of the Hepworth, the redevelopment of Kirkgate roundabout, and the opening of the new West Yorkshire History Centre.

Earlier this year Wakefield Council completed a £57,000 project to improve the cathedral precinct and encourage shoppers back into the area with benches and trees tidied up, and lampposts repainted.

Former council offices Chantry House and the former Snooty Fox pub are to be demolished and replaced with housing.

And a planning application to turn a derelict garage on Park Street into a bar and gallery was submitted last month.