Town braces itself for roadworks

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Traders in Heckmondwike are furious at what they believe is a lack of consultation from Kirklees Council over planned roadworks in the town.

Work begins on a £760,000 scheme to resurface roads around Heckmondwike town centre from Sunday June 21.

But traders fear that the plans will put businesses at risk, as the work is not planned to finish until October.

Simon Thirkill (pictured), head of the Heckmondwike Business Alliance, said: “Heckmondwike is a small town centre trying to hold its head up and deal with all the financial pressures that are slowly eroding its services.”

“While we accept that this work has to go ahead, we would like something from the council to say that they will help us bring people back into the town after the work has finished.”

The work begins with High Street and Oldfield Lane to be resurfaced before parts of Frost Hill, Wakefield Road, Westgate, Batley Road and Halifax Road which will take place later on in the summer. The works are planned to finish on October 20 with the resurfacing of Market Street.

A spokeswoman for Kirklees Council said: “These particular roads were last resurfaced 20 years ago.

“As much work as possible is being scheduled for the school holidays when the absence of several local schools will significantly reduce the amount of traffic.”

“Local people and businesses affected by the work were consulted by letter on March 19 with a closing date for comments of April 2. Further correspondence was sent out on May 29 and July 15.”

But Mr Thirkill disagrees, and said: “No consultation with the business community or local residents was carried out or was ever planned.

“I never received the last correspondance, which was just a schedule, and I wouldn’t call giving us a schedule ‘consultation’.”