A community campaigner is calling for a halt to controversial road changes in and around Lindley and Edgerton.
Kirklees Council is pressing ahead with plans to make road changes to encourage walking and cycling as part of a £26 million scheme to improve traffic flow and ease congestion on the A629 Halifax Road from Huddersfield to Ainley Top.
The most controversial change involves making Occupation Road in Lindley one-way but others include a 20mph speed limit on Lidget Street and new road humps on Acre Street.
Local campaigner David Heathcote has demanded an immediate halt until residents have had chance to see a full business case to assess the benefits.
Dr Heathcote, who has asked questions during full Kirklees Council meetings, has requested information on how the council has assessed the public benefit but says they were not able to provide a response until January 28.
Dr Heathcote said: “This is outrageous! The council must remember that they are spending our money and we deserve to see the business case.
“At the full council meeting in December, I asked the Cabinet to provide a figure for the actual number of cyclists who used Occupation Road in Lindley as an active travel route and what the projected uptake in use would be with the proposed plans.”
In response Labour Cabinet member Clr Naheed Mather said Dr Heathcote was “putting the cart before the horse” by asking for a business case.
Dr Heathcote, however, said local authorities had a duty to follow guidelines in the Treasury’s so-called ‘Green Book’ which requires councils to prove the case for change and outline the benefits.
Dr Heathcote added: “I stand with local residents in saying that there is no case for change. The before and after benefits of this spend have not been made clear.
“I believe there is ‘optimism bias’ in pushing this scheme through – a ‘spend it and they will come’ approach.
“The council has not been clear on its plans with local residents and the consultation lacked transparency.
“Residents were not clearly told that there would be a one-way system imposed on Occupation Road, unless they knew to drill down into the detailed plans.”
Dr Heathcote said the Cabinet had been given money to fund a solution and they were now scouting around to find a problem to solve.
“They’re spending money just because it’s there,” he added. “I call on the council to pause this scheme and go back to work with residents, rather than do to us.”
At the council meeting Clr Peter McBride, Cabinet member for regeneration, said “every effort has been made to engage” with residents and information had been sent to 160,000 homes in the area.