Spen councillor hits out ahead of nearly eight months of 20mph limits on busy commuter road

Michelle Grainger-Mead has hit out at 'lenient' contract times for roadworks.
Michelle Grainger-Mead has hit out at 'lenient' contract times for roadworks.

A Spenborough Councillor has questioned the timescale of a speed limit that will see a major commuter road ground down to a 20mph speed limit for 31 weeks.

The A62 Leeds Road between Liversedge and Mirfield will see the near eight-month change imposed to facilitate the initial development of the controversial Mirfield 25 housing and warehouse scheme, which has been planned for more than 20 years.

The move will allow £3m of infrastructure work to get underway as the 15.4-acre site is prepared.

Coun Michelle Grainger-Mead (Con, Liversedge and Gomersal), who also sits on Kirklees Council’s planning sub-committee, said: “I understand that there is the need to lay utilities which also take time and it’s not just a resurfacing job, however 31 weeks seems excessive by any standards, but on a highly critical major route like the A62, every effort should be made to minimise disruption, to as short a timescale as humanly possible.

“I do believe Kirklees are far too lenient on contractors and developers and they often apply for longer timescales to avoid any penalties or enforcement, if they over run. I believe by adding these ‘buffers’ it leads to lack of urgency amongst contractors.

“As a council, I believe we should be taking these companies to task over their timescales in the first instance and then applying enforcement if these timescales aren’t met. Hopefully, this will act as a deterrent going forward.”

Campaigners who have fought against the plans fear that the speed limit will create rat runs through surrounding streets.

It is understood that the council is not installing speed cameras for the duration of the works.

The site runs alongside Leeds Road with the commercial and housing elements separated by Taylor Hall Lane – with the housing to the east and the commercial development to the west.

A spokeswoman for Caddick Developments, who will lead the works, said the Mirfield 25 site represents “a considerable investment” into the area and will create employment space and many new homes.