Extra cash so that Calderdale road projects including A629 Salterhebble work can get finished

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Extra money for major road schemes where costs have been hit by inflation has been welcomed by senior Calderdale councillors.

Calderdale Council’s cabinet received an update on schemes including improving road links between Halifax and Huddersfield, around Halifax town centre and on the main route linking Huddersfield and Bradford via Brighouse in Calderdale.

In all, Calderdale now has a funding of allocation of £192.5 million across five projects being reported across five West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund projects, said leader of the council, Coun Jane Scullion.

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Inflation has hit the projects and last autumn the council was informed some – including the Halifax Rail Station gateway project – have been put on hold in a West Yorkshire Combined Authority review but some extra cash has been allocated to others.

Councillor Jane ScullionCouncillor Jane Scullion
Councillor Jane Scullion

Coun Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said: “Clearly, what’s happened to inflation over the last year has been particularly challenging and construction inflation has soared ahead of ordinary domestic inflation.

“There have been a number of supply chain difficulties with some of these large capital transport projects.

The scheme to improve transport on the A629 between Halifax and Huddersfield was in delivery and expected to be completed in spring or summer next year.

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Accordingly, a request for more funding was under review and was expected to increase the scheme allocation to £42.6 million.

“It will make such a difference to the flow between Huddersfield and Halifax,” said Coun Scullion.

She was “extremely pleased” the combined authority had agreed full business case approval for the same scheme’s second phase for improvements around Halifax town centre, unlocking an additional £29 million.

This will include traffic-lighting, work to end the subways under parts of the A629, enabling better bus and rail connections and including revised bus timetables.

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“In the 21st century, I think we have come to the realisation that subways are really not part of a modern highway system going forward for pedestrians,” she said.

“Surface schemes and safe crossing of roads is much better.”

And preliminary designs were now being worked on and a business case review is being prepared to ensure the A641 project – which links Huddersfield and Bradford via Brighouse – better aligns with local aspirations and concerns as well as regional ones, she said.