Huddersfield Unlimited, the business-led organisation that stands for the town of Huddersfield, has appointed Leah Stuart as their new director of transport, chairing its transport and connectivity group to help drive forward the organisation’s aims to improve Huddersfield’s transport links and increase infrastructure investment in the town.
Leah brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge from her background working in urban regeneration, infrastructure engineering and transport planning across the UK. A Chartered Civil Engineer with more than 20 years’ experience, she is also a member of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Climate, Energy and Environment Committee, which oversees projects and spending to reach net zero in West Yorkshire,
Speaking of her appointment, Leah Stuart said: “I am passionate about making great places and I know the value that inclusive movement networks and good public realm can bring. My work across the country has shown how supporting active travel and public transport, so that it is easy and accessible for everyone, can have a huge positive impact on communities, businesses, and the environment. I want Huddersfield to be a better place to live as it has so many fantastic assets.”
As part of her role, Leah will be working with social enterprise, Create Streets. The organisation works with neighbourhoods and communities to understand more about what people like and dislike about where they live. In Huddersfield, this information will be used to develop a vision for change.
She will also be acting as a ‘critical friend’ during the consultation processes for the Transpennine Upgrade and associated local network improvements, which are led by Kirklees Council. The Transpennine Upgrade will deliver a faster and more reliable train service and Huddersfield is in a fantastic position to capitalise on this, especially with its strategic location between Leeds and Manchester. However, during the construction period there are likely to be travel disruptions, and therefore Huddersfield Unlimited is exploring ways to mitigate these impacts, to seek maximum short-term benefit and long-term learning from any temporary interventions.
“I want Huddersfield to be a great place to live, where people want to spend time and build their lives. This means a thriving local economy, easy and safe travel, low emissions, and more green and blue infrastructure (trees, planting, and nature-based drainage solutions)” said Leah.
“Buses need to be cleaner, greener, more affordable, safe, regular, and comfortable. They need to interlink with excellent rail services, safe walking routes and dedicated cycle facilities so that people’s door to door journeys are seamless. Walking, cycling, and using public transport should be easier and quicker than using the car. People of all ages, genders, ethnicities, and abilities need to feel confident to use public transport at all times of the day and night,” she continued.
Sir John Harman, chairman of Huddersfield Unlimited, said: “We are delighted to appoint Leah as our new board director of transport, chairing the transport and connectivity working group. We believe with her vast policy creation, strategic planning and design experience, she will be an asset not only to the Huddersfield Unlimited team, but Huddersfield as a town.”
For more information on how Huddersfield Unlimited is supporting business and investment in the town, visit: https://www.huddersfieldunlimited.co.uk/what-we-do/