Motorists face more road misery

Helen Baron at Ribbon Circus, Hebden Bridge
Helen Baron at Ribbon Circus, Hebden Bridge

Commuters travelling on the main route through the Calder Valley face more misery as major works in Hebden Bridge are in the pipeline.

Letters have been sent to businesses and residents of the town, warning them of major road works through the town centre which will cause “inevitable” disruption.

The work, scheduled to begin in October/November will centre on the A646 Market Street, Bridge Lanes and Heptonstall Road and is just the latest battle commuters face.

The letter warns that evening and overnight closures will be put in place, with work taking place on weekday evenings or early mornings.

In April, shocking figures revealed the busy route had been dug up a staggering 550 times in 36 months. But Calderdale Council say the latest works are essential and measures will be put in place to minimise disruption.

While the news is another blow for drivers who use the road daily, there has been a mixed reaction from businesses in the town.

Helen Baron, owner of Ribbon Circus haberdashers in Market Street, said: “I think it’s going to be really horrible, it’s going to be terrible.

“Why do it at the best time of the year? They are the best months for any high street, why could they not do it through the summer when there’s fewer cars on the road and there’s no school run?

“I think I will see a reduction in footfall - people have to walk down to get to us.”

Francisca Siervogel, manager of children’s store, The Old Treehouse, added: “It is going to be a pain getting into Hebden Bridge. We have a hairdresser who relies on people coming in for appointments on time. If people are late then it has a knock on effect on the rest of the day.”

But Chrissie King, owner of Hat Therapy, said the works could give her business a surprising boost.

She said: “Sometimes in the past when we have had them and there’s been temporary traffic lights and there was a queue outside my shop I’ve then had calls from people saying they had seen things they liked. All works are disruptive, but they have to be done at some point. Before saying they are going to be awful, we should wait and see.”

Councillor Janet Battye (Lib Dem, Calder), said; “While we’ve been waiting for a number of roads to be resurfaced in and around Hebden Bridge, these seem to have all come at once and I’m reminding the council to make sure that it’s possible for vehicles to get through and around the town centre. “There is a real problem of roadworks on the valley road and the real inconvenience these can create to motorists and local people.

“While I’m not looking forward to the delays that will be caused by the resurfacing on Bridge Lanes, I know that we’ve been waiting for these for a long time now.”

Carolyn Walton, Calderdale Council’s highways and engineering manager, said: “The condition of the roads has deteriorated over time, so works will involve resurfacing, new markings and new ironwork.

“To allow the works to take place safely and effectively, temporary road closures will be in place. To minimise disruption, the closures will be during evenings and early mornings. As we are still planning the works with our contractor, the exact timings will be confirmed at a later date. We will be liaising with residents and businesses throughout the works. If anyone has any concerns about access requirements or any other issues, they can contact us on 01422 288001.”