Roadworks leave out 700-yard section from improvements to major route

Council bosses have been slammed for taking a piecemeal approach to road improvements after it was revealed that multi-million pound resurfacing work will miss out a stretch of one of the district’s busiest routes.

By Tony Earnshaw, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 10:00 am
Resurfacing took place at Cooper Bridge, where a nine-tenths of a mile section was completed last year

Months of work to improve the A62 Leeds Road began in April with improvements to a 1.2-mile stretch of the route between Huddersfield Ring Road and Old Fieldhouse Lane scheduled to last until December.

The work is being carried out by Colas SIAC Ltd, which was awarded a £7.6m contract last year.

The £1.65m resurfacing of the other end of Leeds Road – “essential works” involving nine-tenths of a mile between Bradley Road traffic lights and Stocks Bank Road in Mirfield – began in October and finished two weeks ahead of schedule on November 19.

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But a 700-yard section of Leeds Road, running past the entrance to chemical complex Syngenta, has not been included in the current scheme, prompting concern that the road will wear out at different points.

Coun Martyn Bolt (Con, Mirfield) sought and received confirmation from Kirklees Council that there would be gaps in the resurfacing programme, which the authority said was due to availability of funding, its network backlog, and planned works associated with the TransPennine Rail Upgrade project.

Officers confirmed that the council was “unable to commit at this time to undertake further resurfacing works along the remaining sections”.

Coun Bolt responded: “It seems like a false economy. If there is a team on the ground coming out of the town centre why not join up two pieces of tarmac – the road has just been resurfaced near Whitacre Street – so that there is a pristine piece of road?

“If not there will be approximately 700 yards of road in a poor condition, with potholes and other defects.

"The A62 will wear out at different points along the route leading to a cycle of maintenance where it’ll feel like there’s always someone working on the road as it is mended piecemeal for ever.

"There seems to be a lack of joined-up thinking.”

Kirklees Council officers have said new funding may be identified once the current project is complete to join up any gaps.

However until such time as funding becomes available “we will continue with our inspection regime and put forward any actionable defects identified, for repair”.