Vote on £1bn regional transport funding pot

A �1bn pound fund could pay for a relief road to Dewsbury that would bypass Ravensthorpe. The money may also be spent on improving the Cooper Bridge junction in Mirfield (where the a644 and a62 meet) - which is notorious for traffic at busy times. (D537F316)
A �1bn pound fund could pay for a relief road to Dewsbury that would bypass Ravensthorpe. The money may also be spent on improving the Cooper Bridge junction in Mirfield (where the a644 and a62 meet) - which is notorious for traffic at busy times. (D537F316)

People could soon have their say about a combined authority of West Yorkshire councils which will oversee a £1bn transport fund.

A public consultation will be launched if Kirklees Council Cabinet members agree in principle to the combined authority today.

The authority would assume responsibility for the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund which would boost investment in the region’s transport network.

Cooper Bridge is a key part of the fund’s proposals, with road widening, junction improvements and a relief road planned around Ravensthorpe. Cash could also be used to increase the reliability and capacity of buses on the A653 from Dewsbury to Leeds, including a park and ride scheme.

The council report also shows the A652 from Batley to Bradford could see development. People flying from Leeds Bradford Airport could benefit from an express bus link from Leeds to Bradford with new junctions on the A65 and A6.

It is estimated that throughout West Yorkshire the move will help create 20,000 new jobs, including 7,500 jobs in construction, and growth in the economy of £1.35 billion per year.

Kirklees will have to pump £359,000 into the transport fund this year, rising to a predicted £8.7m by 2022.

Coun Peter McBride, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “By working on a county-wide basis, the significant investment will mean improved traffic and public transport infrastructure and really improve the economic prospects for current businesses.”

Calderdale, Bradford, Wakefield and Leeds councils’ cabinet members have already agreed in principle.