New bypass masterplan is revealed

Traffic in Huddersfield Road, Brighouse
Traffic in Huddersfield Road, Brighouse

A bypass around Brighouse town centre and a new motorway junction on the M62 are among proposals for a £150 million scheme to improve the transport network in West Yorkshire.

Plans are being put forward to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority with the aim of easing congestion for commuters as well as unlocking business potential in Calderdale and throughout the county. Among the plans would be a bypass around Brighouse town centre, a new M62 junction 24a between Ainley Top and Brighouse, and improvements to the rail network.

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

Brighouse 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.

Plans are also ready to improve travel around Ainley Top roundabout and access to Halifax with 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.

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 has 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 across Calderdale.

Plans are also in place to improve train stations and the railway systems.

As part of the campaign to get more electrification of the Calder Valley line, the authority will look to invest money in providing more frequent journey times with up to six trains per hour, and reduce journey times between Halifax and Leeds, Bradford and Manchester. Mr Roberts said the idea is to build up the demand for more trains with more people using them so there is a stronger cause for electrification along the line, which would eventually be delivered by Network Rail.

On a recent visit to Calderdale, the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP, met Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker to discuss rail services in the Calder Valley area.

Among the topics for discussion were electrification of the Calder Valley line, a new railway station at Elland, and improved services for towns in the Calder Valley.