£1.4bn pot could pay for Ravensthorpe relief road ... and a gyratory

Issue 576

A RELIEF road could be built around Ravensthorpe by a new regional council with a £1.4bn budget.

The development could ease congestion along the A644 Huddersfield Road, which is notorious for traffic delays.

Also on the agenda is a gyratory at Cooper Bridge which would see roads widened and junctions improved.

The cash will come from a pooled £1bn transport fund controlled by the new West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Comprised of members from all five West Yorkshire councils, it also will also control a pot of £400m for economic development.

Kirklees Tory leader Coun Robert Light welcomed the authority's creation, which comes from an act passed by the last Labour government in 2009.

He said: “It is a sensible structure that will tackle some of the issues we need to deal with around transport and investment."

Some of the authority's work on economic development is also now covered West Yorkshire's local enterprise partnership.

The Leeds City Region, as it is known, was formed after the current coalition government axed development agency Yorkshire Forward.

York Council is also a member of both, with their leader, James Alexander, believing local authority boundaries are increasingly irrelevant.

He said: “The combined authority is the first step on a long road to greater devolution for Yorkshire.

“Increasingly we will put aside council boundaries to work together on job creation and economic growth.”

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