Big changes are planned for another of Huddersfield’s main roads – and a major reconstruction is planned for the busy Waterloo junction.
Kirklees Council has started public consultation on the A629 Wakefield Road Sustainable Transport Scheme for a two-mile stretch of Wakefield Road from Shorehead roundabout to Waterloo.
The aim of the scheme is to cut congestion and make the route safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
The council has published three options which involve creating cycle lanes and cycle tracks to encourage people to get on their bikes.
The proposals include:
- Two-way segregated cycle lanes with a kerb to separate bikes from traffic;
- Reducing the road from four lanes to three Huddersfield-bound at Aspley and from three lanes to two away from Shorehead in the direction of Waterloo;
- Creating ‘Quiet Street Cycle Tracks’ to divert cyclists off Wakefield Road through residential areas and then back on further down. The two areas proposed are through Dalton via Grosvenor Road, Kingston Avenue, Mayfield Avenue and Dalton Green Lane, and also at Almondbury via Mitchell Avenue, Fleminghouse Lane, Fernside Avenue and Almondbury Bank;
- Creating a Bus Stop Bypass – also known as a ‘Floating Bus Stop’ – where cycle tracks pass behind where bus passengers wait;
- Reducing the number of parking bays outside shops near the junction with Silver Street opposite Lidl from 16 to nine;
- Removing ‘informal parking’ outside houses on Wakefield Road near the junction with Grosvenor Road;
- Closing Colne Street at Aspley to traffic.
The biggest change hasn’t yet been made public. The consultation document hints at major reconstruction work for the Waterloo junction.
It says: “An upgrade to this major junction is currently being considered as part of a separate scheme which will incorporate any changes on Wakefield Road. These proposals will be presented for public consultation next year.”
Clr Peter McBride, Kirklees Council’s Cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This scheme aims to create and enhance a new, safe and enjoyable walking and cycling route into the town centre, utilising both the A629 Wakefield Road and local neighbourhoods.
“Wakefield Road is a very busy throughfare not only for car users but all commuters. The consultation will offer all road users and residents the chance to have their say on whether they wish to see any improvements.
“More people choosing to walk or cycle will also have a positive impact on health and wellbeing. These planned improvements will maximise sustainable transport options providing attractive and viable alternatives to driving.
“By upgrading this route there will be better links between communities and room for future growth in the area. This will, in turn, improve the air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, helping us to make further strides towards Kirklees becoming carbon neutral by 2030.”
Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin said: “Making walking and cycling easier is at the heart of my mayoral pledges to make sure our transport network works for people, and in our plans to tackle the climate emergency and become a net zero carbon economy by 2038.
“Not only will this scheme help us do that, it will connect more people in and around Huddersfield with jobs, training and education opportunities.
“We are pleased to be working in partnership with Kirklees Council on this important scheme, which will make it easier for people to move around our region, and I would encourage everyone to make the most of this opportunity to help shape these plans by taking part in the public consultation.”
Work is not likely to start until late 2023 at the earliest.
To find out more and have your say go to www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/a629 Public consultation runs until November 30.