Thirteen major new Leeds City Region transport improvement schemes with an investment value of over £200 million are scheduled to get underway this financial year.
Financed by the Combined Authority through the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, projects include improvements to the Harrogate Road and New Line junction in Bradford and the next stage of work to upgrade the A629 between Halifax and Huddersfield.
In Leeds, work will start on the Corridor Improvement Project at the Dyneley Arms junction. Garforth and Mytholmroyd are two of six West Yorkshire rail stations where park and ride car parks are being built or extended. And in York, the next phase of Outer Ring Road improvements will begin.
Established in 2014, the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund is the largest element of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.
Schemes approved for support from the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund have been devised to improve road, bus, rail and other links across the region over a 20-year period. Transport Fund schemes are also encouraging growth in line with the Leeds City Region Strategic Economic Plan.
Cllr Peter Box, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Committee, said:
“Each of our schemes is carefully identified and developed according to rigorous assessment processes and it is exciting to see that hard work turning into activity on the ground.
“Schemes including the Wakefield Eastern Relief Road, the Temple Green park and ride in Leeds, major improvements to the Kirkgate roundabout in Wakefield city centre and stages of the A629 and York Outer Ring Road have already been completed and are delivering benefits. And work to improve the flow of traffic, including buses, is already underway on Hard Ings Road in Keighley, at road junctions in Kirklees, on the East Leeds Orbital Road and on the Glasshoughton Southern Link Road.
“These schemes are about helping local people access jobs and opportunities, enabling our businesses to prosper and expand and opening up land for much-needed new housing and development. And they will ensure the region can take full advantage of planned major national transport investments, when they arrive.”
Other Transport Fund schemes that have been completed include rail station car park extensions have been carried out at Fitzwilliam and South Elmsall stations.
In addition to transport infrastructure schemes, nearly £50 million of Growth Deal projects are set to start this year. These include flood alleviation measures on the Upper Aire and in Leeds.
A start on Leeds Inland Port, a new wharf facility in Leeds that would make it possible to transport freight such as aggregates, timber, oil and steel top the city from the Humber estuary, is also planned for the coming year.
Councillor Box added: “In 2014, Leeds City region secured the largest Growth Deal settlement in the country.
“We continue to deliver on that deal by using it to support the creation of over 7,600 new jobs, safeguarding over 22,000 jobs through flood resilience measures, building almost 350 new houses and attracting almost £½ billion of additional private and public sector funding.”