Construction of Wakefield’s Eastern Relief Road has moved a step closer with the appointment of Hochtief and Buckingham Group to build the 5.5km link.
Wakefield Eastern Relief Road is one of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s (WYCA) West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund schemes.
It has been designed to reduce the city’s traffic congestion, and provide access for the planned 2,500-home City Fields scheme on Wakefield’s eastern outskirts. It will also improve access to the wider transport network and motorways for local businesses and residents and help deliver thousands of new, local jobs.
The new route will connect the A642 Aberford Road in the north with the A638 Doncaster Road in the south going underneath the Wakefield Kirkgate to Normanton railway line and crossing the River Calder on a new 60-metre bridge. It will be flanked by a footpath and will link to the Transpennine Trail with new woodland wetlands to attract wildlife and space for public seating and art.
Wakefield Eastern Relief Road has been described as enhancing the “emerald ring” around Wakefield. It will provide an alternative route around Wakefield avoiding the city centre and giving direct access between south eastern part of the District and the M62. This will improved conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and bus passengers in the city centre. The new road will also connect to Ferry Lane in Stanley.
In July 2014, WYCA uniquely secured funding to establish a £1bn West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund as part of its Growth Deal. The fund will be targeted at reducing congestion, improving the flow of freight and making it easier for people to commute to and from expected major growth areas.
Other, quick-win Transport Fund being progressed include Harrogate Road New Line in Bradford, a 1,000 –space Temple Green Park & Ride facility in Leeds’ Aire Valley Enterprise Zone, extensions to rail station car parks and improvements to York Outer Ring Road. Also supported by the Fund is the Pontefract Northern Link Road, which was completed in February.
Overall there are 21 West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund transport schemes to be complete by 2021, and 12 more schemes scheduled to be on site by 2021 and a further six to be delivered by 2025.
WYCA is currently developing a Single Transport Plan (STP) for West Yorkshire.The new plan will be a twenty year vision for developing an integrated transport network that supports the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s Strategic Economic Plan for sustained and healthy economic growth – especially for jobs and housing.