Residents say a congestion-busting road scheme will blight their lives and make it impossible to sell their homes.
Kirklees Council is working up £75 million plans to re-design Cooper Bridge roundabout and smooth out traffic flow into the A62 Leeds Road at Bradley.
As part of the scheme Oak Road, a narrow residential street which links Leeds Road – near the Tesco Express store – with Bradley Road, will be made one-way.
Residents in and around Oak Road and those in Leeds Road opposite Marstons Chicken Shop will have to make massive detours just to get to and from their homes.
Neighbours Angela Howard and Barry Crofts have set up a campaign and organised a public meeting on playing fields in Oak Road on Tuesday night.
More than 30 people turned up to put their views to Ashbrow Labour councillors Harpreet Uppal, Amanda Pinnock and James Homewood. Also there was Clr Martyn Bolt (Con, Mirfield), a fierce critic of the plans.
A public consultation into the plans ended on Sunday and residents complained their voices weren’t being heard.
Ron Christlow and Lynsey Blackburn, who live in Leeds Road opposite Marstons, would have to park outside their home facing downhill and would have to drive down to Cooper Bridge, go round the roundabout and come back up just to go to Huddersfield.
Lynsey said she had responded to the consultation but was told by the council: “This is not about the residents, it’s about the greater good.”
Lynsey added: “Kirklees Council is completely ignoring the residents. We’ve not had a proper consultation – because of Covid they said. They held a webinar at 5.30pm when people are still at work and commuters are still commuting. What a waste of time!”
READ MORE: New look Cooper Bridge roundabout revealed by Kirklees Council
Dawn Hodgson and Oak Road neighbour Phil Colley both feared their homes would be unsaleable.
Dawn, who also had concerns over road safety and pollution, said: “If this happens we’ll never be able to sell our homes.”
Phil added: “It’ll be like living on a motorway. It will definitely affect property values.”
Articulated lorries already use Oak Road as a short cut and residents endure noise, nuisance and damage to their homes.
On the webinar a council official revealed that the hugely-costly scheme would only cut journey times from about 51 seconds through to three minutes and 11 seconds, much to the astonishment of local residents.
At Tuesday’s meeting, one woman summed up the feeling when she asked: “Why spend money on fixing something that doesn’t need fixing when we have all these other roads that need repairing?”
Another said: “They are trying to turn a residential street into a main road and turn Leeds Road, a main road, into a dual carriageway.”
Clr Pinnock explained that the scheme was funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Kirklees was working on a business case. She said although consultation had closed residents could still submit their views to the council.
If the council’s bid for funding was approved a scheme would be drawn up in 2023 and there would be more consultation. Work could begin in 2026 and take two years.
Clr Homewood said the ward councillors had already expressed their concerns to the council about Oak Road and he pledged to “put the pressure on” and ask the council if it had considered other options.
Residents want more people to join them on a Facebook group called ‘Oak Road Huddersfield.’