Last chance to shape major travel improvement scheme

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Time is running out for people to have their say on plans for a £30million scheme to improve walking, cycling and bus travel and reduce journey times between Halifax and Huddersfield.

Engagement events have been taking place in Halifax, Elland and Huddersfield, where designs have been on display for the scheme – the final project in the £120m A629 improvement programme.

People who missed the drop-in events still have the chance to have their say, with plans now on display at Halifax Central Library until Thursday 21 March. Detailed proposals can also be viewed online at link) where there is also a feedback survey to fill out. The deadline for responses is Sunday 31 March.

The scheme is being jointly delivered by Calderdale and Kirklees Councils, and focuses on improvements in Halifax, Elland, West Vale, Ainley Top, Edgerton and Huddersfield. Each of these sections has detailed plans showing the proposed changes, which include creating and improving cycling/walking routes, with approximately 20km of new and improved routes proposed.

Road layouts will also be amended to enable an express bus service between Halifax and Huddersfield. In addition, junction remodelling and signal improvements will take place along the route, improving journeys for all modes of transport.

Plans also include improvements to bus stops along the proposed route, which include Halifax rail station, Calderdale Royal Infirmary, the planned Elland station, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Huddersfield rail station. Each stop would also have improved information boards using the latest technology, with real time travel information.

To ensure that the proposals meet the needs of local residents, commuters and businesses, it’s important that as many people as possible have their say.

Feedback from the events and survey responses will be collated and will help shape more detailed plans for the scheme.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Strategy, Cllr Barry Collins, said:

“Thank you to everyone who came along to the recent drop-in events in Calderdale and Kirklees to find out more about Phase 4 of the A629 programme. The feedback the team received will be really useful in preparing more detailed plans for this multi-million pound scheme.

“The scheme includes some exciting proposals, including major improvement works to allow for an express bus route between Halifax and Huddersfield. This would greatly reduce journey times, making bus travel between the towns a much more attractive prospect.

“There’s still time for people to have their say and I’d encourage anyone who lives, works or travels along this busy route to let us know what you think about proposals before the survey closes on Sunday 31 March.”

Cllr Peter McBride, Kirklees Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, said:

“These works are an essential part of improving traffic flow and lowering commuting times between Calderdale and Kirklees, and so helping our communities to thrive and the local economy to grow.

“We know how highly residents value good quality roads and travel and as a council it is a real priority for us to get these basic services absolutely right. So we’re pleased so many people took the time to view the exciting plans and share their thoughts with us.

“If you didn’t get the chance to attend the recent drop-in events, there’s still an opportunity to have your say online.”

When people were first invited to comment on the scheme in February, Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee said:

“We have committed around £150 million of investment though the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund to transport schemes across the City region and the five-phase upgrade of the A629 is the largest in the programme.

“Overall the scheme will result in improved journey times, better public transport reliability and new cycling and walking facilities along the key route between the towns of Halifax, in Calderdale, and Huddersfield, in Kirklees, and will support economic growth.

“I would urge anyone who lives or works along the route, or who uses it regularly, to have their say by taking part in the consultation.”

The scheme is being funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund. The fund is part of the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

For progress updates and more information about other exciting developments in Calderdale and Kirklees, visit link) and link).

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