New £8m Westgate station is now ready to open

Westgate Station mid-September
Westgate Station mid-September

The city’s long-awaited new £8.1m railway station will open on Sunday, December 22.

The station building has been decked out with a new travel centre with six ticket machines, ticket gates, a new waiting room and a larger first class lounge.

Artist's impression

Artist's impression

Subway, WH Smith, Greggs and Costa Coffee are all ready to open inside the building.

The new station has been built about 300 yards north of the original buildings, with access now from Mulberry Way.

East Coast property and projects director Tim Hedley-Jones said: “We are delighted to be opening the new Westgate station on Sunday, December 22. It will offer the latest customer facilities and a stunning new gateway to Wakefield, providing a station fit for the future of the city.

“This has been an excellent collaboration between East Coast, Network Rail, Muse Developments and Wakefield Council, and we have been aided by the quality of the design by Leeds Studio and the commitment of our contractors, Buckingham Group. “

East Coast said the new station was more energy-efficient, contained 30 sheltered bike racks and would be served by Metro’s free city bus every 10 or 12 minutes.

It also has lifts connecting the platforms, allowing for step-free access, and toilets for disabled people.

Wakefield Council’s deputy leader Coun Denise Jeffery announced the opening date at a meeting of full council on Wednesday.

She said: “I think we can all agree that the new station will be fabulous for Wakefield.”

Plans for the new Westgate station were announced at the end of 2011.

And since then, East Coast has been working alongside Wakefield Council and English Cities Fund to make sure that the station complements wider plans to regenerate the Westgate area.

However, planning permission was granted in controversial circumstances, when Wakefield Civic Society and bosses at the Orangery claimed the design would block views and access to the Grade II-listed gallery.

In granting approval, councillors admitted that there were outlying issues but felt they could not really refuse the application because of time constraints on funding from the Department for Transport.

The project has benefitted from £6.1m funding from the Department for Transport, £1m from the Access for All fund, which is targeted towards step-free access projects, and £1m from the English Cities Fund (ECF).