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ROAD PLANS: £13m proposed scheme to better connect Mirfield and Dewsbury

ROAD PLANS: £13m proposed scheme to better connect Mirfield and Dewsbury

Plans for a £13m roads scheme to better connect Mirfield and Dewsbury with Leeds are set to go before regional decision-makers next month.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) investment committee will hear plans which officers hope will ease congestion and encourage eco-friendly travel along the so-called Mirfield to Dewsbury to Leeds corridor.

Plans include junction upgrades, cycle and bus lanes and crossings, which transport chiefs claim will help alleviate commuter traffic on existing roads to the south of Leeds.

A report by WYCA officers stated: “The Mirfield to Dewsbury to Leeds (M2D2L) corridor forms a key route running through the heart of West Yorkshire and serving a direct catchment of around 600,000 residents as well as several existing and planned major employment, retail and housing sites.

“Significant sections of the A644, A638 and A653 are congested during the
morning and afternoon peaks and often within the inter peak period, which
also leads to poor bus service reliability and journey times along the corridor.”

The report states more than two and a half miles of new and improved cycle infrastructure will help encourage commuter trips by cycling along the corridor. Nearly two miles of new bus lanes will “improve journey reliability for
buses operating along the corridor”, and encourage more people to use public transport.

Around 27 new or improved signal-controlled pedestrian crossings or zebra crossings will also be installed.

The estimated cost of the scheme is around £13.1m, with construction hoped to start on the scheme in March 2022. It is hoped the improvements are finished by April 2024.

The report concludes: “A strong strategic fit with national, regional and local policies has been comprehensively presented.

“Without intervention along the corridor to improve active travel, bus reliability and journey time plus increased capacity increased network congestion would constrain the planned growth and development set out in the Kirklees and Leeds Local Plans.

“The scheme total is £13.150m, with value for money presented as very high. Further development work is required to firm up the value for money statement as does the economics and outputs of the scheme to stay within the funding envelope and produce the benefits.”

Members of the committee will be expected to vote to allow WYCA to create a full business case for the plans, as well as approving £12.5m of public funds to go towards the work.

The group will meet on Wednesday, April 7.

Words: Richard Beecham, Local Democracy Reporter

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