Plumbers Arms boss ‘unhappy’ about new road in front of Huddersfield pub

The Kirklees Council has explained in detail how it plans to revive a highway for the Plumbers Arms – more than four decades after it was last used as a road.

Mark Robertson, the owner of the pub on Macaulay Street, in Huddersfield town center, feared the plans would damage his business and the upscale Florence’s wine bar alongside the plumbers he hopes to open in July or August.

But he said that while he was “not happy” with the plans after a crunch meeting with high council officials on Monday afternoon, he had been assured that he could move his banks back to the empty semicircle.

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He now hopes that the ‘road’, which should be used for deliveries and not taxis or other vehicles, will not affect his business too much.

The formal notice of the works that warned of the plan by Kirklees has yet to appear in the Huddersfield Examiner.

Mr. Robertson said, “I’m not happy with this ‘experimental’ path, but the council says they want to work with me, so let’s see how we go.”

Kirklees Council has begun making the biggest changes in the topography of Huddersfield town center in a generation with Dundas Street and the area near Huddersfield Bus Station particularly affected.

Colin Parr, Strategic Director for Environment and Climate Change said: “These changes are being made to complement broader plans to make the city center safer and more accessible to pedestrians.

Owner of the Plumbers Arms on Macaulay Street, Huddersfield, Mark Robertson (right) and neighboring Alsham Pastry business owner Simko Farman concerned about opening Macaulay Street pedestrian area to traffic.

“More pedestrian areas mean more liveliness with live music, food and beverage outlets and cultural events bringing much-needed visitors to the city center.

“We have seen how visitor numbers in Huddersfield have increased since the lockdown, putting the city at the top of consumer spending after the lockdown.

“If the economy in our cities is to recover, we must remain committed to improving the experience for all.

“The changes also make it easier for businesses to manage deliveries.

The square in front of the plumbing arms will remain a pedestrian zone and access will be limited to loading and vans, as well as a limited number to access private land on Threadneedle Street.

“To allow the use of the square for cafe permits, time restrictions for deliveries are proposed between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday only, and outside of these times the square will be closed to all traffic.

The closure will be enforced with a gate and bollards near Threadneedle Street and any misuse of the new access during the delivery window will be monitored and action taken if necessary.

“The measures are being introduced within the framework of an Experimental Traffic Decree, so that companies in the Square can think about the supply restrictions over a certain period before concrete proposals are made.”

“As always, we want to make sure this works for the affected businesses and really encourage them to share their views with us so we can harmonize the delivery timeframe and operation of cafe permits.

“While we will continue to work with local businesses, it is essential for us to address pedestrian safety in this area.

“Work to reopen access to Market Street began on Monday, May 17, with an expected completion in six to eight weeks.”

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