By Leah Conway
Local people have the chance to share their thoughts on the plans for the fourth phase of the A629 improvement programme between Halifax and Huddersfield.
What does the improvement programme mean?
The A629 improvement programme is funded by over £25million from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s West Yorkshire. It has additional support from the Transport Fund and works in hand with the other stages of the A629 improvement scheme will be delivered by Calderdale and Kirklees Councils.
The A629 Phase 4 Walking and Cycling Halifax – Huddersfield scheme aims to improve walking, cycling and bus travel in the area around A629. Part of the improvements include enhancing accessibility for those using and enabling better access for those using wheelchairs, mobility aids and prams or pushchairs.
Plans for phase 4 are split into five sections:
- Halifax to Calder Hebble junction– including connecting the Hebble Trail, which currently ends at Phoebe Lane, with Halifax Town Centre and Halifax Railway Station.
- Elland and West Vale – including new cycle facilities and traffic signal improvements, as well as the installation of a living green screen at West Vale Academy
- Ainley Top roundabout– including crossing improvements, traffic lane extensions, widening of the route under the M62 to allow for more walking/cycling options and lighting and access improvements.
- Ainley Top roundabout to Birkby to Huddersfield– including the improvement, extension and creation of walking and cycling routes, better linking to amenities within Birkby.
- Ainley Top roundabout to Lindley to Huddersfield– including upgraded crossing facilities, new cycle and walking routes and a proposed speed limit reduction on Lidget Street with priority crossing for cyclists.
Each section aims to make walking, cycling and other active ways of travelling safer, more accessible and appealing.
Vital for businesses, commuters and visitors
Councillor Peter McBride, Kirklees Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Improvements along this whole route will mean that communities are better connected and local economies are supported. For Kirklees residents, the upgraded, safer walking and cycling facilities will provide opportunities for more people to choose active travel.
“This is one of a number of schemes that we are proposing across our district to make travelling safer, more efficient and accessible to all whether that be on foot, cycling, on public transport or by car.
“Partnership working is making it possible for us to plan for better travel, not only in Kirklees, but the surrounding areas that are vital for businesses, commuters and visitors. I encourage anyone using this route to take part in the consultation and have their say.”
Additional and upgraded options for the people of Kirklees
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategy, Cllr Jane Scullion, said: “Phase 4 of the A629 improvement scheme focuses on the upgrade of facilities for walkers, cyclists, wheelchair users and those with pushchairs, as well as aiming to reduce congestion, shorten journey times and improve the reliability of public transport options.
“These major improvements include plans for a number of new and improved on and off-road walking and cycling routes. We’ve seen the popularity of existing routes soar over the last 18 months and we want to support this growth in demand with additional and upgraded options.
“Improvements are proposed for communities both along and around the A629 route between Halifax and Huddersfield and residents’ comments from our 2019 consultation have been used to adapt some of the previous plans.
“I encourage everyone that lives, works or travels around this area to have a look at the detailed plans and share their feedback to help inform our final designs.”
As many people to take part as possible
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “As Mayor, I’m committed to doing everything within my power to tackle the climate and environment emergency – and one of the key ways we will achieve a net-zero carbon economy in our region is by offering people viable alternatives to using their cars.
“This improvement scheme will make it much easier and safer for people to walk and cycle as well as improving travel for bus passengers.
“I want to encourage as many people as possible to take part in this important consultation and ensure the scheme really works for everyone in the community.”
People can get involved in the consultation until Tuesday, 23 November 2021. As seen in past 2019 consultations, the feedback will refine the proposals before any contractors are appointed to the scheme. Afterwards, it is hoped that the construction will begin in 2022.
You can find out more about the plans and start the feedback survey on the council website here
You can also request a printed version of the support materials and survey forms by emailing your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org call 0113 3946697.