Passengers 'disgusted' by lack of progress at Wakefield Kirkgate Station as Network Rail and Grand Central dither

Dawdling rail bosses have yet again been asked why a train station hasn't got the toilets and waiting room that were promised years ago.

By David Spereall
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 2:05 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2022, 2:06 pm

Passengers at Wakefield Kirkgate were told in 2019 that a heated shelter with toilet facilities would be built across platforms two and three.

Covid and staff furlough have previously been used as excuses for the delay, with work still yet to start.

But passengers are now growing increasingly angry at the lack of action and communication, having spent yet another winter exposed to the elements while waiting for trains.

Sign up to our daily Wakefield Express Today newsletter

A scheme to install toilets at the station has been repeatedly delayed.

They've been told that the project is in the hands of Network Rail and train operator Grand Central, even though Northern runs Kirkgate Station.

Both Network Rail and Grand Central have been contacted for comment, but haven't responded.

Speaking at an online meeting with public transport operators last week, passenger representative Pete Daniels said local people were fed up.

Mr Daniels said: "I've done a survey with members of the public and they're now of the opinion it's just not going to happen now.

Passenger anger is growing.

"This has been going on for the best part of three or four years and all we've got is a hole between platforms two and three and there is no shelter for members of the public waiting for a train.

"I think it's disgusting, personally, that it's gone on this long."

Responding at the meeting, Northern's stakeholder manager Pete Myers said: "It's difficult for me to do this without sounding like a jobsworth, or that I don't care, because I absolutely do care, but it isn't our project.

"It's a project between Network Rail and our friends at Grand Central.

"I'll pass on the comments said today, because it's our station and our problem.

"We're making our voice felt and that of our passengers, because this (meeting) isn't the only place I get this feedback.

"You're absolutely right, we've been through another winter without an adequate shelter, which isn't good enough. It really isn't."

But Mr Myers said last year that had been abandoned because the structure would not have survived the wind blowing across Kirkgate and "would have probably ended up at Wakefield Westgate."

He said it would have been "too costly" to build one that could withstand the elements.

Local Democracy Reporting Service