Residents help to get transport plans moving

Traffic queues towards Hipperholme on the A644 Brighouse Road.
Traffic queues towards Hipperholme on the A644 Brighouse Road.

Highway and motor network plans are beginning to gather pace as the West Yorkshire Combined Authority puts together a 20-year vision for developing transport.

Transport for the North (TfN) was established in response to the Sir David Higgins’ report “Rebalancing Britain” and builds on the work undertaken through One North during 2014.

It is a new partnership between Northern city regions, Local Enterprise Partnerships and the Department for Transport, working closely with Highways England, Network Rail and HS2 Ltd.

The partnership’s aim is to transform the Northern economy through long term investment in transport networks to create the “Northern Powerhouse”.

One of the key aspects is a core free flowing east-west motorway network with “a mile a minute” typical journey times for more reliable journeys between the major cities. This plan draws on Highways England’s Roads Investment Strategy, which includes upgrading the M62 to a four-lane “smart” motorway between Leeds and Manchester.

The WYCA has earmarked plans for a new M62 junction 24a between Ainley Top and Brighouse, and a bypass around Brighouse town centre under the £150 million scheme to improve the transport network in Calderdale.

The authority has invited individuals and organisations to contribute to shaping the Single Transport Plan, which will be a 20-year vision for developing an effective, efficient and integrated transport network for the Leeds City Region that supports sustainable and low-carbon economic growth.

WYCA Transport Committee Chairman, Councillor James Lewis, said the plan would make the area more attractive to investors.

He said: “We need to invest in the Leeds City Region’s transport infrastructure and services to provide the reliable, integrated network that businesses and people expect and require.

“This will make the City Region a more attractive place in which to invest, work and live and employing low-carbon technologies will mean we can achieve this sustainably.”

A more formal round of consultation on the Single Transport Plan will follow in the summer.