£200m to be spent on improving roads across Kirklees

A massive £200m programme of major road schemes is underway in Kirklees.

The line-up includes Cooper Bridge, the A62 Leeds Road into Huddersfield, the widening of the A629 Halifax Road and the A629 Wakefield Road.

Kirklees Council has created a new Major Projects Service to handle the enormity of the work, which will see investment in walking, cycling, public transport and major highway improvements.

And it has hired extra staff to manage the projects.

Plans for Cooper Bridge

The team is working on 20 major transport schemes to be achieved by money released by the government.

Some will be paid for via £1bn released to the West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund.

Other projects – such as transforming public transport hubs and interchanges – will come from the Department for Transport’s £317m Transforming Cities fund.

That will be match-funded locally to the tune of £164.5m and will be spread across the Leeds City Region. Kirklees will benefit from the cash along with Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York.

Some schemes are being jointly promoted, with Kirklees partnering with neighbouring authorities to deliver cross-boundary projects.

MAJOR PROJECTS INCLUDE:

A629 Halifax to Huddersfield (Phase 5) – Cost: £13.3m

Aims: to ease congestion, reduce journey times and “create capacity” on the corridor between Ainley Top roundabout and Huddersfield ring road. This controversial scheme involves cutting down hundreds of mature trees in Edgerton. Work to begin: September 2021.

A629 Halifax to Huddersfield (Phase 4) – Cost: £26m

Aims: to address “strategic accessibility” on the main route from Halifax to Huddersfield. The majority of the project is in Calderdale. Kirklees will pay a fifth of the total cost: £6.4m. Work to begin: Winter 2024.

A62 Leeds Road/Cooper Bridge/A644 Wakefield Road – Cost: £69.3m

Aims: major changes to the existing layout of Bradley Road, Colne Bridge Road and Oak Road to reduce congestion and improve travel times between Bradley Road, the A62 Leeds Road, Cooper Bridge and the M62. Work to begin: March 2024.

A62 Leeds Road “smart corridor” (Phase 1) – Cost: £7.3m

Aims: to reduce congestion, slow journey times and poor air quality specifically between Huddersfield Ring Road and Old Fieldhouse Lane. Planned improvements include “big changes” at the gyratory outside the Great Northern Street retail park by removing the complicated system and replacing it with a simpler design. Work to begin: June 2021.

Holmfirth Town Centre Access Plan – Cost: £4m

Aims: to relieve congestion and queueing at peak time in the town

centre. Work to begin: January 2022.

Huddersfield Southern Corridors – Cost: £13.5m

Aims: to improve four busy routes to the south of Huddersfield town centre: at Lockwood Bar, Longroyd Lane, Folly Hall and Queensgate. Kirklees would pay £3.15m towards the total cost of the project. Work to begin: Spring 2021.

Mirfield to Dewsbury to Leeds – Cost: £13m

Aims: new walking and cycling infrastructure, bus lanes and junction modifications on the A644 Huddersfield Road and the A653 Leeds Road. It will aid the council’s flagship housing scheme at Chidswell, where 1,500 homes are planned. Work to begin: February 2022.

Bradley to Brighouse Cycling Scheme – Cost: £2.3m

Aims: to complete complete a long-standing “missing link” in the strategic cycle network by creating a 6.5km cycle and walking route between Bradley and Brighouse. Predominantly off-highway, it will complement the massive Cooper Bridge project. Work to begin: early 2022.

A629 Wakefield Road Sustainable Travel Corridor – Cost: £13.6m

Aims: to improve walking, cycling and public transport and to assist the delivery of hundreds of homes via the council’s Local Plan. Also includes improvements to the dangerous A629

Penistone Road/Fenay Lane junction, which has been the scene of several accidents. Work to begin: 2023.

Huddersfield Station Gateway – Cost: £17.5m

Aims: to extend the station subway to connect with a new entrance at the Station Warehouse and an upgrade to the Trinity Street underpass to connect with Greenhead College. Work to begin: 2022.

Heckmondwike Bus Station – Cost: £4m

Aims: to transform the existing hub into a full station by increasing bus stands from four to six to relieve network congestion. Work to begin: Spring 2022.

Huddersfield Bus Station – Cost: at least £9m

Aims: to cut internal passenger congestion and reduce “pedestrian infringements” on the bus channel approach. Work to begin: Spring/Summer 2022.