A massive £69.2m road scheme designed to solve 20 years of congestion around the Cooper Bridge roundabout out of Brighouse has been unveiled.
Transport chiefs and planners say the “ambitious and transformational” project will involve the creation of a new relief road and viaduct for the area.
The scheme in total will provide 1.5km of new road and changes to 2.5km of current highway.
It aims to reduce traffic on both the A64 Leeds Road and the A644 Wakefield Road serving Huddersfield and Brighouse, cut journey times and improve air quality.
But the plan, to begin construction in 2021, will involve the purchase and demolition of some homes as well as buying up surrounding “virgin” land.
Around 50 landowners – including householders and businesses – have been contacted by letter.
A council spokesperson said: “There are approximately 50 landowners who could be affected by one or more of the options in these proposals.
“Nine of these are actual properties. The rest are plots of undeveloped land.
“We have contacted everyone who could potentially be affected and at this current stage we’re only anticipating that we would need less than a handful of properties in their entirety.
“For the size of the scheme and the benefit once it’s complete, the overall impact on property and land is small.”
The four-phase programme, featuring three versions of the scheme, goes out for community engagement this week. It is scheduled for completion in 2023.
The route of the new link begins at Colne Bridge Road and will cross Bradley Road close to the White Cross pub.
It will lead to a new roundabout near to Bradley Park landfill site, which will then join the A644 Wakefield Road by means of a 450m-long viaduct traversing the railway, the Calder and Hebble Canal, and the River Calder.
The new roundabout will also assist traffic in and out of the proposed housing plan earmarked for Bradley Park golf course.
It will help enable the initial part of the site: around 750 homes.
Further improvements include widening Wakefield Road between junction 25 of the M62 and the Cooper Bridge roundabout.
Planners are putting forward three options including a “big build” involving a dual carriageway to the M62.
A second option includes a “spur” that links the relief road to the A6107 Bradley Road.
The scheme is a partnership arrangement with neighbouring Calderdale Council and has been designed to complement further developments on the other side of the M62, particularly around a major housing plan destined for Clifton.
Inevitably extensive works will involve disruption to motorists and commuters.
The spokesperson added: “With thousands using this route every day we know that people will be worried about the roadworks during construction.
“Whilst it would be impossible for us to make such a big change without there being some disruption, we will work with the contractor to make sure it’s kept to a minimum.
“We’ll have more details on this nearer the time, but already we know that the work will be done in phases rather than all at the same time and that some of the biggest parts of the scheme will be built alongside existing roads or on vacant land so won’t affect current routes.”
Simon Taylor, Head of Strategic Investment at Kirklees Council, described the programme as “the most expensive and the most critical piece of infrastructure to ensure that the district can grow as we have set out in the Local Plan.”
Keith Bloomfield, programme manager for the West Yorkshire Transport Fund (for Kirklees Council), which is providing the money for the project, said: “This proposal will bring relief to areas of the highway where congestion has been a problem over the last 20 years.”
And Clr Peter McBride, Kirklees Council’s Cabinet member for regeneration and transport, said: “The A62/A644 link road will provide essential infrastructure to serve the majority of our industry and the large housing allocation in the Local Plan.
“It must be a relief to motorists. It should be a plus for local residents in terms of air quality and of a general benefit to the borough.”
All of the options are now live online (via www.kirklees.gov.uk/majortransport) and the survey is open until January 18, 2019.
Drop-in events from 3-7pm will be held at:
December 6: Bradley & Colnebridge WMC, Huddersfield
December 10: The Old Town Hall, Brighouse
December 11: St Thomas’ Church, Bradley
December 12: Huddersfield Town Hall
January 7: The Roberttown (former WMC), Liversedge
January 8: Battyeford BC Pavilion, Mirfield
January 10 : Bradley & Colnebridge WMC, Huddersfield
An unstaffed exhibition will be open in Huddersfield Library from December 3 until January 18.