£12.8m road scheme to include bus lanes and better cycle route

a MULTI-million pound road scheme in West Yorkshire will see new bus lanes, improvements to a popular cycle route and the creation of “pocket parks”.

By Jessica Barton
Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 9:00 am
Junction of the A644 and A638 in Dewsbury.
Junction of the A644 and A638 in Dewsbury.

The travel corridor has been designed to improve traffic between Bradford and Dewsbury, and work on the £12.8m project is expected to begin in December.

At a meeting of West Yorkshire Combined Authority today, members will be asked to move the scheme to the next stage.

A report to the Finance, Resources and Corporate Committee says the work will “support walking, cycling and bus travel and will encourage a reduction in private car travel to reduce carbon emissions and improve local air quality.”

Sign up to our daily Dewsbury Reporter Today newsletter

On the Bradford side of the scheme, the work will create a new bus lane on the southbound approach of M62 Chain Bar roundabout, and four new crossing islands on Bradford Road.

The popular Spen Valley Greenway cycling and walking route will get a major upgrade as part of the work.

This will include more than five miles of widening and resurfacing work to the Greenway and 13 access improvements between the Greenway and A638. There will also be seven access improvements between the Spen Ringway and A638 and new and improved lighting along the Spen Valley Greenway.

Other work will include the creation of a 1.3-mile cycle lane between Cleckheaton and Heckmondwike town centres, six new pedestrian crossings, six new or upgraded signal-controlled junctions and footway widening outside Heckmondwike Grammar School. Six bus stops will also be upgraded, and a number of “pocket parks” will be created.

The report says the work is expected to be completed by summer 2024 and adds: “The A638 comprises a key route for the district, as it provides a strategic East/West link between Dewsbury and Bradford, as well as facilitating onward connectivity across the wider region via the M62 Chain Bar interchange.

“High traffic volumes on the A638 Dewsbury to Cleckheaton corridor, due to increased reliance on car travel and lack of viable travel alternatives, cause congestion issues contributing to poor local air quality and increased transport related carbon emissions.

Although many bus services travel along or across the A638, there are only two small sections of bus lanes and limited bus priority along the route. Long queues and significant delays are experienced by bus users during peak periods on the southbound approach to Chain Bar roundabout.

“Current on-road cycling provision is limited to advisory cycle lanes of approximately one kilometre in length to the south of Cleckheaton.”