Humber Street fruit market has vibrancy and potential - but needs better links to grow
FREEDOM Festival 2012 saw crowds in their thousands descend upon the Humber Street area of the city.
Swarming in from the city centre, those same crowds, made up of families, dads pushing prams, wheelchair users, the elderly, almost every model and make of humanity, were forced to cross the busiest road in the city and negotiate a small concrete island via two pedestrian crossings manned by a couple of harassed police officers.
The situation was, quite frankly, not just ridiculous but downright dangerous and was, surely, the only blight on an otherwise truly glorious event.
There were grumbles at the time, and there will – rightfully – be a growing crescendo of grumbles every time the situation occurs. Teetering on the edge of the island, waiting for the stream of cars and lorries to stop so we could cross, the situation seemed like a tragedy waiting to happen.
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After all, the occasions when thousands of people are streaming towards that section of the city are only going to increase.
For, after years of being let down by failed funding, indecision and unfulfilled promises, the Humber Street area is on the rise.
The belief and sheer dogged determination of a few individuals – who have put their own money where public cash failed to go – has meant this is an area of the city that is becoming the cultural and creative heart of Hull. There is a sense of vibrancy and potential about the area that deserves to be massaged by public money.
The problem if, of course, we feel we have seen it all before. So many times, it seems Hull is going to benefit from some cash only to have it disappear into somebody else’s pot at the last minute.
This time around, however, things look more hopeful: Lord Heseltine is involved. If he can pave the way for Hull to be granted City Deal status, we may not just benefit from a one-off improvement to infrastructure but to direct access to government funds and a bigger say in how that is spent in the long term.
There can be no doubt that improved links to the Humber Street area will only help the regeneration of this important part of our city.
Let us hope this time around the right decisions are made and 2013 will become to be seen as the turning point not only for Humber Street but for Hull.