£1.5m scheme to improve Horse Fair between Pontefract town centre and castle is approved

Funding for a scheme to improve one of the key roads linking the centre of Pontefract with the town’s castle has been approved.

By David Spereall
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 4:45 am

Horse Fair is set to be resurfaced and given new landscaping, with construction set to begin at the end of the year.

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Wakefield Council said the project will improve the route for pedestrians and cyclists and encourage people to travel between the two landmarks.

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Horse Fair in Pontefract Image: Google

Around £1.5m worth of cash was formally accepted from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) for the plans on Tuesday.

Coun Matthew Morley, portfolio holder for transport, said: “This will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the Pontefract area, by improving the connectivity between the town centre and the castle.

“The scheme will encourage active travel on foot, by bike and by using public transport.

“The scheme is exactly the kind of thing we want to do across the district.

“I want to reassure everybody it will be very respectful to the historical significance of the castle.

“It will really connect the two and I think it’s going to be a very exciting scheme for Pontefract.”

Built in 1070, Pontefract Castle is one of the most historic local landmarks and it is thought to have been where King Richard II died while imprisoned, in 1400.

Further administration is required before the scheme starts, but the council say the works are scheduled to take place across December 2022 and January 2023.

Meanwhile a pedestrianisation scheme for Ropergate, in Pontefract, will go ahead in May, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

The idea was publicly mooted last year by the council leader, Denise Jeffery, so that restaurants and cafes could put tables outside during the summer months.

Exact details of how the street will be fenced off to traffic are yet to be revealed.

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