By Tony Earnshaw Local Democracy Reporter
A CONGESTION-BUSTING bypass for traffic-clogged Cooper Bridge will not happen for at least five years, planners have revealed.
And it will be a more modest version of what was unveiled last year.
A new relief road and viaduct for the area around the Cooper Bridge roundabout, which serves Mirfield, Huddersfield and Brighouse, was announced in December.
It came with a £69.2m price tag.
Described as “ambitious and transformational” by transport chiefs and planners, it was designed to reduce traffic on both the A62 Leeds Road and the A644 Wakefield Road, cut journey times and improve air quality.
It also sought to provide 1.5km of new road and changes to 2.5km of current highway.
Senior figures with Kirklees Council released three design options for the project – known formally as the A62/A644 (Wakefield Road) Link Road – which were put out to public consultation.
It was envisaged that construction work on the four-phase programme would begin in 2021 and finish in 2023. The council is now looking at a longer-term delivery for the scheme, which is likely to be smaller in scale.
Deputy Leader of Kirklees, Coun Peter McBride, said a big gyratory as originally planned was “no longer going to happen”.
He added: “There will be something of a gyratory, which will be relatively modest.
“The big expenditure is going to be on the road which will come from Colne Bridge Road, going right across and through next to the White Cross Inn, all the way to the motorway, some of which will be on stilts.
“That was not the intent originally. It was going to be a massive gyratory. It’s a more modest one now.
“That will not be delivered for well over five years – maybe five or seven years – but it is in the programme.”
Money for the scheme had been allocated by West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), a group of leading councillors and officers from West Yorkshire councils, plus York, that works on major infrastructure projects.
WYCA has accepted Kirklees’ alternative scheme and the changes that it encompasses.
Coun McBride said officers in Kirklees had consulted with colleagues in neighbouring Calderdale, as much of the construction work involved would be on the Calderdale side of the boundary.