Councillors have rejected a plea to delay a £75 million road scheme which residents say will blight their narrow residential street.
Kirklees Council’s Cabinet voted to push ahead with the A62 to Cooper Bridge Corridor Improvement Scheme which will turn Oak Road at Bradley into a one-way key access route.
Ashbrow Labour councillors Harpreet Uppal, James Homewood and Amanda Pinnock supported residents in Oak Road and urged a rethink.
Speaking at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Clr Homewood said: “I think it’s Cabinet’s job to ensure that benefit outweighs the detriment. I don’t think the use of Oak Road is the right solution and the impact will be very significant on local residents.”
The council wants to re-design the Cooper Bridge roundabout and will ban the right turn from Leeds Road into Bradley Road at Bradley traffic lights. Traffic heading downhill to Cooper Bridge will also be prevented from turning left into Bradley Road.
Instead traffic will be filtered into Oak Road, from Leeds Road to Bradley Road. Oak Road will become one-way.
After protests by residents the council proposed some changes for Oak Road suggesting a 20mph speed limit, traffic calming measures and a ban on HGVs above 7.5 tonnes.
Angela Howard, speaking on behalf of residents, said the changes didn’t fully address their concerns. There were still issues about road safety, vibrations and damage to homes and noise and air pollution.
Council officers say less traffic would use Oak Road as vehicles would “reassign across the wider network” but that was questioned by Clr Homewood who said he didn’t believe the amount of traffic would suddenly reduce.
“Common sense says if you improve the network and reduce traffic times then you will increase the number of people wanting to use that road,” he said. “I don’t see where these vehicles are going.”
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If HGVs were banned from Oak Road they would be forced onto other residential streets in Bradley, he said.
“I think we should be pausing (the scheme) and reflecting. Do we really want to turn a one track residential road into a highway just because somebody thought we could shoehorn this in?”
With plans for 1,460 new homes in Bradley by 2031 – and an objection from Highways England about the impact on the M62 – Clr Homewood urged a rethink.
Clr Pinnock said Oak Road would “take a hit” and called for the decision to be deferred.
Clr Martyn Bolt (Con, Mirfield) warned that HGVs banned from Oak Road would head for nearby Brooklands instead causing problems there.
He said there should also be an investigation into the impact on traffic levels on the B6118 Bellstring Lane, a notorious accident blackspot route.
Council leader Shabir Pandor said there was no need for a deferral and added: “There is a long way to go. This is not the final decision stage. There’s a long process and these conversations will continue.
“We need to dig deeper and allow the decision to go to the next stage.”
He said he really felt for the residents of Oak Road and urged council officers to continue to work with them.
The Cabinet voted for the scheme to go ahead. The next stage is for the council to seek a £10 million grant from West Yorkshire Combined Authority to draw up an Outline Business Case.
The scheme will still need planning permission and construction won’t start until at least 2024.