Plans For New South Bradford Link Road

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority will discuss the plans next week.

A £64 million project that could relieve traffic on one of Bradford’s busiest roads could soon move a big step forward.

A South East Bradford Link Road would see a new route created between Holme Wood and Westgate Hill Street in Tong, easing congestion on Tong Street and in the Holme Wood Estate.

Plans for such a road date back several years, but there has been little movement since it was included in the Holme Wood and Tong Neighbourhood Development plan in 2012.

But now the scheme has re-emerged, and on Tuesday West Yorkshire Combined Authority will be asked to move the plans forward to the next stage.

They will hear that the new road could improve travel times, attract more business and “unlock” land for 2,500 new homes.

But there is still likely to be a long wait before the scheme is finished, as the link road is unlikely to be completed until 2025.

At a meeting of the Combined Authority’s West Yorkshire and York Investment Committee held in Leeds on Tuesday, members will be told that the total cost of scheme will be as high as £64.2 million, of which £46.3 million will come from the Combined Authority.

They will be asked to grant £1.213 million to fund an outline business case for the road so the project can move forward. This will lead to a more detailed route being produced.

But even if the proposals move ahead as planned, work is unlikely to begin on the road until 2023.

Bradford Council will be the lead organisation for the project.

A report to the committee shows an “indicative” route for the road between the end of Drighlington by-pass and Dick Lane, but more details are expected at a later stage.

It also says some of the road may pass through greenbelt land.

According to the report, the road will particularly improve traffic at the junction of A647 Leeds Road and Dick Lane, and junction of Tong Street and A651 Bradford Road.

And the scheme could include a shared pedestrian/cycle route running alongside the link road, which would link up with the City Connect cycleway that links Shipley and Leeds.

It says the scheme faces “significant risks” including include planning issues caused by any encroachment into greenbelt, land ownership and “potential impacts on Holme Wood area and greenbelt sensitivities.”

On the last point it says: “Effective customer engagement will be required to address the concerns of stakeholders and to manage the acceptability of the proposals.”

On the scheme’s benefits, the report says: “The corridor can support housing and regeneration targets by unlocking growth sites and improving access to Holme Wood.

“It would also help address congestion on existing routes and contribute to improved connectivity in south east Bradford and neighbouring areas. Benefits of the corridor could also be harnessed by public transport operators.

“The scheme would help to address congestion in South East Bradford which currently impacts on journey time reliability for journeys to and from Bradford city centre.

“It would help address local congestion on roads in neighbouring Holme Wood by reducing inappropriate traffic routing through the area, which can support local commuter trips to employment locations in Tong.

“The scheme is also required, to open up land for housing development, thereby contributing to Bradford Council’s Local Plan target of delivering 6,000 homes in South East Bradford.

“Over 2,500 homes could be unlocked by this scheme .

“It will also support regeneration and investment in neighbouring Holme Wood and nearby strategic employment sites, with potential options benefitting through access to Leeds-Bradford Airport.”

Councillor Alan Wainwright (Lab, Tong) has been involved in the discussions over the proposed road for a number of years. He said: “I usually walk my dog down Tong Street at 6.15am and the traffic is already building up then.

“There are parts of the road where traffic has to go from three lanes to one. It needs sorting out.

“As long as they stick to the route we had originally looked at in 2012 I’m quite happy. If they divert from that and go further into the greenbelt or divide Holme Wood further from other areas then I would not support it.”

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