Could a Halifax bypass be on the way in huge road investment?

Calderdale transport'Bus stuck in heavy traffic on Huddersfield Road towards Salterhebble
Calderdale transport'Bus stuck in heavy traffic on Huddersfield Road towards Salterhebble

The travel network throughout Calderdale could be set for an estimated £150 million investment if road and rail improvement schemes are approved by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Proposals are being put forward with the aim of easing congestion for commuters as well as unlocking the business potential in this district and throughout the county.

Paul Roberts, transport funding portfolio manager, has outlined schemes that, if given the green light, will be implemented over the next 11 years.

One of the main schemes will be a major overhaul of the A629 Halifax to Huddersfield corridor. An improvement scheme could see an additional lane created at Salterhebble, Halifax, providing easier access to Copley and Sowerby Bridge.

Traffic light and junction improvements at Salterhebble and the approach to Halifax, in particular those at Dryclough Lane and Free School Lane, will also be introduced.

There is also the possibility of a park and ride site near the M62 at Ainley Top and measures to assist priority vehicles such as a freight lane or multi occupancy lane.

To reduce the amount of through traffic travelling through Halifax town centre, a scheme for a bypass is being put forward which would cut around the back of Halifax railway station.

The scheme would also unlock many brown field sites along the route, opening up the possibility for businesses to expand or move into the area.

Brighouse also figures prominently in the new schemes with improvements suggested along the A641 Bradford to Huddersfield corridor.

A new bypass, around Brighouse to the east and south of the town will be put forward with road space reallocation generally within the existing highway boundary to provide lanes for priority vehicles.

The aim will be to improve access to the M62 and Cooper Bridge, and tackle significant congestion around Brighouse.

Further benefits could also be seen with creation of a junction 24a, a scheme the authority would look to deliver with the Highways Agency.

If successful with the bid, aspects of the schemes could be put into place as early as 2016.

Mr Roberts said it will not only benefit people on the roads but the potential for unlocking business sites and working across the county.

“It is a very exciting opportunity not just for West Yorkshire but for Calderdale in particular.

“It is a big investment and will transform the impact not just on business but on community leisure and social trips.”

He said in the long term the potential for jobs could be increased by a third if the proposals are implemented.

The authority is also working with business and apprenticeship schemes so the work on the highways and transport facilities can be delivered over the coming years and to a high quality.

In July, the Government announced that the West Yorkshire Combined Authority had, uniquely, secured funding to establish a £1bn West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund.

The Fund will comprise £600m of Government funding government over 20 years, £183m of other devolved transport funding previously secured through the City Deal and local contributions.

It will underpin growth by improving the City Region’s roads and railways and connecting people to jobs and goods to markets seamlessly.