Two controversial road schemes opposed by residents in Huddersfield have been halted.
The two projects on the A629 Halifax Road in Lindley and Edgerton are set to be “paused” due to rising inflation and construction costs.
A multi-million pound improvement scheme to ease congestion between Huddersfield and Halifax is being carried out in phases.
However, phases 4 and 5 led to strong objections from residents and local councillors.
Phase 4 was aimed at improving cycling and walking through Lindley and involved making Occupation Road one-way and banning parking on Thornhill Road, which met strong resistance locally.
Phase 5 was aimed at reducing congestion on Halifax Road between Huddersfield Ring Road and Ainley Top. Controversially, 88 mature trees would have been felled with road widening around the Blacker Road junction.
Though there were plans to plant some new trees, campaigners said the plans were in conflict with Kirklees Council’s declaration of a ‘climate emergency.’
Funding for the schemes was to come from West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s West Yorkshire Transport Fund.
However, with inflation above 10% and construction costs rising still further, the Combined Authority has found the costs of its road schemes across the county spiralling by £151 million over budget – which could rise to an estimated £215 million.
The authority has decided to ‘pause’ – not cancel – several schemes and seek new funding at some time in the future.
The A629 schemes are two which are recommended to be ‘paused’ when the authority’s Finance, Resources and Corporate Committee meets on Thursday November 10.
Kirklees Council has already said letters will be sent out to local residents ahead of the meeting informing them of the impending decision.
Residents in Lindley, backed by Liberal Democrat and Conservative councillors and Colne Valley Tory MP Jason McCartney, held a public meeting in March and petitions were launched.
As a result of the united front of opposition, Kirklees Council officers had agreed to work with residents to find an acceptable scheme.
Following news that the scheme had been ‘paused’, Lib Dem councillors Cahal Burke and Anthony Smith said they were “absolutely delighted” at the success of the campaign to get council officers round the table and recognise residents’ concerns.
It could be several years before the scheme is back on the agenda and Clr Burke added: “When funding streams become available we look forward to engaging constructively on the new proposals with officers and residents.
“This outcome will come as a huge relief to many residents who live in the area and use these roads.”
West Yorkshire Combined Authority blames the rise in construction costs on a combination of high inflation, the war in Ukraine, Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.