Highways team behind major Cooper Bridge scheme reveal more details

Highways engineers behind ambitious plans to cut congestion around the notorious Cooper Bridge bottleneck have released more details.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 11:15 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 1:53 pm
An artist’s impression of how the Cooper Bridge roundabout could look after a major remodelling designed to cut congestion at the notorious bottleneck. (Image: Kirklees Council)
An artist’s impression of how the Cooper Bridge roundabout could look after a major remodelling designed to cut congestion at the notorious bottleneck. (Image: Kirklees Council)

The complex £75m project, designed by Kirklees Council staff and which is currently out for consultation, is known as the A62 to Cooper Bridge Corridor Improvement Scheme.

The new plan, which replaces a formerly proposed bypass and flyover scheme, includes a new roundabout at Cooper Bridge, the widening of part of the A62 Leeds Road as well as several bridges, and a focus on a stretch of the A62 between Bradley junction and Oak Road.

The council was sent a list of questions by Councillor Martyn Bolt (Con, Mirfield) who has been and remains critical of the authority’s engagement with householders, businesses and commuters.

Q: Kirklees have been doing extensive traffic modelling. Please can you tell me what the morning, afternoon, and projected event time peaks are for:

Users through the Three Nuns and Cooper Bridge junctions.

Westbound on A62 from Far Common Road and Wood Lane.

Eastbound from Oak Road.

What are the projected times with and without intervention in the future?

A: The scheme aims to improve journey times along the A62 within the scheme boundaries. In accordance with Department for Transport (DfT) guidance we have assessed a number of time periods (e.g. morning and afternoon peak hours) and forecast years including our expected opening year (2026) and 2041.

We have compared these predictions to the expected situation without the scheme in place. We have summarised our predicted average journey time savings below; however we will update our traffic assessments as the scheme design develops, ahead of submitting our Full Business Case.

Q: Why doesn’t the current scheme improve access and safety in/out of Miller and Carter and why doesn’t the shared use provision continue across the access/egress, as modern designs suggest?

A: The scheme includes changes to the access and egress arrangements for Miller & Carter including signalled egress to allow safe exit from the car park.

The detail of the design will be developed in the next stage in discussion with affected landowners. Currently design includes shared use facilities for pedestrians or cyclists to access the car park. Segregated facilities continue along the road across the access point, terminating with shared use facilities after the egress on the boundary of the scheme.

Q: What is the planned and winter maintenance for the proposed shared use footways?

A: Maintenance arrangements will be agreed as the scheme design develops.

Q: What measures will be put in place to protect users and preserve the route around Marston’s ?

A: The detail of the design in this location will be developed in the next stage.

Q: It is mentioned that this scheme will integrate with the £2.4m canal towpath scheme yet there is no such integration of provision on the plans. Why?

A: We are consulting on the A62 to Cooper Bridge scheme, which does not include the Brighouse to Bradley Greenway.

For that reason and to avoid confusion the route of that scheme has intentionally not been shown on plans. However, the project teams are working closely to integrate the two designs.

Coun Bolt said he sought further detail from the council to answer what called the most basic question: “When you have spent £75m will I be able to get to my destination any faster?”

He said: “I’m not happy with the responses. Sadly some come with the added line that key details will be addressed later.

“How can anybody comment [on the plans] if all the issues will be dealt with later?

“On that basis the scheme is inappropriate at the moment. It was said to be ‘transformative’. Can anybody say that what we have now is transformative?”