With the Shaw Hill / Free School Lane junction works complete and the Salterhebble Hill project due to start in Halifax this month, Calderdale Council is starting to develop the next phase of A629 improvements – tackling congestion at the Calder and Hebble junction.
On Monday 10 July the Council’s Cabinet will discuss the scheme, which is part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Fund programme to improve the A629 route that connects Halifax and Huddersfield town centres.
The major upgrade of the Calder and Hebble junction is expected to start in late 2018 and will include a new link road between the A629 and Stainland Road, a new bridge spanning the Calder and Hebble Navigation and a new roundabout on Stainland Road.
By reducing journey times, the scheme will improve access to Copley, Sowerby Bridge and Halifax, making sites on the route more attractive for potential business investment and creating more job opportunities. It may also lead to additional express bus services between Halifax and Huddersfield.
The £1 billion West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund is being invested over 10 years in more than 30 transport infrastructure schemes across West Yorkshire and York, designed to create around 20,000 new jobs and add £2.4 billion a year to the economy by the mid-2030s.
Cllr Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said:
“The A629 is a well-travelled and much-needed route in Calderdale – it’s a key link between Halifax and the M62 motorway, and thousands of people rely on it to get to work and do business.
“The road is frequently congested so we are taking action to tackle this, to make it easier for people to get around the borough. Without these improvements the traffic issues will only get worse, especially with a growing population and economy.
“Our whole package of A629 improvements is also vital to help unlock the new development and job creation opportunities that will be offered by the major regeneration of Halifax town centre over the coming years.”
The A629 improvements aim to reduce congestion, travel times and traffic-related pollution, improve air quality and make it easier and safer for people to walk and cycle, encouraging healthier, cheaper and more environmentally friendly travel options.
Since the original Calder and Hebble junction proposals were announced, the Council has identified further ways to bring even more benefits for commuters, visitors and businesses.
The original design involved keeping the 300m length of A629 between Exley Bank and Salterhebble Hill as a single northbound carriageway with a give way junction at Jubilee Road. The Council is now planning to introduce traffic lights at the Jubilee Road junction and a three-lane northbound approach (two going forward on the A629 and one right turn onto Jubilee Road).
To achieve the full range of benefits, the Council, subject to Cabinet approval, will need to purchase land in addition to that which it has already acquired through voluntary sales. Negotiations are underway with the landowners to purchase the plots required to deliver the scheme.
Voluntary sale of the additional land is the preferred approach, but if this is not successful within the required timeframe, the Council would have no choice but to use Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers.
Whilst negotiations with landowners are taking place, the Council, subject to Cabinet approval, will start putting the CPO process in place just in case.
Cabinet will also be asked to enter into an agreement with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to release funding and progress the A629 improvements.
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Fund has been part-funded through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government funding to drive growth and job creation across the Leeds City Region.
The Cabinet meeting will be held at 6pm on Monday 10 July 2017 at Halifax Town Hall.
For more information on the West Yorkshire Transport Fund programme in Calderdale, head to www.calderdalenextchapter.co.uk(external link)