Report recommends widening A58 and extra slip lanes on M62 to cope with traffic

People fighting to stop a massive warehouse development on fields close to the M62 near Cleckheaton say more evidence has emerged to show how it will further clog up local roads.

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 3:16 pm
An artist’s impression of what a massive warehouse and distribution centre near Cleckheaton could look like

Campaign group Save Our Spen says a report for National Highways shows improvements are needed at junction 26 of the M62 at Chain Bar as it will reach or exceed “absolute capacity” during peak hours by 2036.

The group has been a vociferous critic of proposals to build a mammoth distribution facility, which has been linked to online retailer Amazon, on a 59-acre site between Whitehall Road, Whitechapel Road and the motorway.

It says the assessment, formally known as the M62 Corridor Study, by Jacobs Systra Joint Venture (JSJV) underlines their fears that local roads and the Chain Bar junction will be swamped by heavy traffic as between six and ten HGVs could go in or out of the site every minute.

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The report examines projected traffic growth resulting from the delivery of Local Plan development allocations from Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield.

The "Amazon" scheme forms part of Kirklees Council’s Local Plan.

The report recommends extra off-slip lanes for the M62 and the widening of the A58 Whitehall Road westbound exit to two lanes.

A spokesman for Save Our Spen said: “This latest information casts further doubt on the ability of our local roads to cope with new warehouses.

“This latest National Highways assessment, taken alongside the independent interim traffic report [that] Save our Spen commissioned, should make Kirklees Council and Kirklees cabinet sit up and take notice.

“Such evidence should not, under any circumstances, be dismissed and left out of the decision-making process.

“We will be keeping a close watch on whether this evidence is brought before the planning committee.”

Last month Save Our Spen was frustrated when National Highways – the Government-owned company responsible for maintaining motorways and A roads in England – said it would not accept as evidence a specialist report that said traffic levels from HGV movements at the warehouse project had been underestimated.

The report was crowd-funded and commissioned by Save Our Spen.