Two campaigns, one on its merry way, the other an unqualified success!
Perhaps we should not have been surprised when the powers that be pulled out all the stops in their attempts to pre-empt this week’s HTSA gripe?
The Prime Minister is reported to have asked her Chancellor to send a strong signal that the government will be taking action on JAMS.
In true “Yes Minister” fashion, this is probably what the Treasury was considering when a figure of £1.3bn appeared in the national press supposedly earmarked for the cutting of congestion and the enhancing of public transport networks.
So what is the connection with Huddersfield Town?
When exiled Sheffield Wednesday supporters, living in Fenay Bridge, can regularly arrive home from Hillsborough (21 miles away) several minutes before their neighbours who have crawled a paltry 3.5 miles from the John Smith’s Stadium, it is time for serious questions to be asked.
In fact the time is long overdue; just like the buses that try to operate along Leeds Road on Saturday afternoons.
In recent seasons one bus company went to the extreme length, as far as Fixby in fact, of diverting their match-day buses in order to preserve a reasonably punctual service beyond the grid-locked stadium.
Quite clearly somebody is falling short when it comes to ‘just about managing’ match-day traffic.
A very generous dollop of the £1.3bn is needed in order to get these JAMS licked.
This is not a new problem but it is now being highlighted due to the welcome increase in attendances.
The honey-pot of HD-One, and a 24/7 retail and entertainment centre, is a one-off opportunity to ensure safe, efficient and problem free access and egress for football supporters and the general public.
Big ideas certainly need big solutions.
The traffic chaos cannot be entirely detached from some of the other ‘headaches’ currently afflicting the borough’s decision makers.
Ambulance response times are a significant concern for the HRI campaigners; but what about response times for a fleet of ambulances attending a major incident at the stadium?
What if the unfortunate incident occurs just before, or shortly after, the final whistle when every approach to the ground becomes an impasse?
The consequences on such an occasion do not bear thinking about.
But, somebody does need to think about it and action needs to be taken.
On Friday night, representatives of HTSA attended a Community Cohesion meeting held at Dewsbury Town Hall, mixing with the usual collection of Bishops, Chief Executives and Community Leaders as well as the Mayor of Kirklees and the Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.
The event was organised by Canon Yaqub Masih and brought together over 200 people who really want to make a difference.
As a supporters trust we are well aware of the rapidly changing demographics and we are under no illusion that the long term future of Yorkshire’s multi-national club now depends upon our ability to draw supporters from the many minority groups within Kirklees.
Striving for community cohesion through the universal language of soccer?
If we are speaking your kind of language then please do come along to our eighth annual meeting, which will be held at PPG Canalside on Tuesday, November 29, in the Players’ Lounge (7.30pm).
There should be plenty of opportunities to get involved and for more information email our secretary, Trev Whitehead (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information.
HTSA will also be running a coach to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, December 3 - HTSA members can travel for just £10, non-members are also welcome at a very reasonable £12.
The coach will be departing from outside the Fantastic Media stand at noon - book by ringing the Travel Line on 07905 580784 or emailing Robert Pepper (email@example.com).