Introduction to the plans

What/where is the A62 Leeds Road?

The A62 is the main road that links Huddersfield with Mirfield and into Leeds.

This scheme focuses on the section between Northumberland Street / Southgate (ring road), along the A62 Leeds Road to its junction with Old Fieldhouse Lane.  It includes changes and developments which should address the causes of vehicle based congestion along this route.  

This project is the first phase of improvements proposed for this road.

What is being proposed?

The proposals form part of a series of highway improvements to the A62 Leeds Road between Huddersfield town centre and Old Fieldhouse Lane.  Some improvements have already been built - the new junction at Old Fieldhouse Lane for example - and others are still in development.  The Phase 1 improvements are at the following junctions:

  • Huddersfield Ring Road / Southgate / Northumberland Street - improvements to existing traffic light signals, changes to lane markings and new road signage.
  • Leeds Road / Lower Fitzwilliam Street / Gasworks Street - removal of the existing gyratory road layout (complicated circular road system) and traffic light signals.  Replace with new road layout, traffic light signals, lane markings, road signage and lighting.
  • Leeds Road / Thistle Street / Hillhouse Lane - upgrade the existing signalled junction to better manage traffic and make it easier for pedestrians to cross the road.
  • Leeds Road / St Andrews Road - new signalled junction to better manage traffic and make it easier for pedestrians to cross the road.
  • Leeds Road / Bradley Mills Road / Barr Street - upgrade the existing signalled junction to better manage traffic and make it easier for pedestrians to cross the road.
  • Leeds Road / Bradley Mills Road / Red Doles Lane - upgrade the existing signalled junction to better manage traffic and make it easier for pedestrians to cross the road.
  • Leeds Road / Old Fieldhouse Lane - Upgrade the existing signalled junction to better manage traffic and make it easier to turn right.  Also make it easier for pedestrians to cross the road.
General road improvements:

  • Upgrade the existing cycle provision to include separate cycle ways and on-road cycle lanes.
  • Improvements to bus stops including new shelters, real time information screens, kerbs and new laybys.
  • New road markings, signage, and advanced cycle stop lines at traffic lights.
  • New trees and planting.

The reason for the plans

Why do we need to do something?

The Council has a statutory duty under the Traffic Management Act to consider options that improve traffic flow.  The A62 Leeds Road is one of the key routes into Huddersfield; it is one of the busiest routes in Kirklees for all types of transport with very little capacity for increased traffic.

The existing road network is unable to cope at peak times, which is leading to significant delays and congestion.  Add the current issues with the expected natural growth and future development needs and it becomes clear that we must do something to help existing traffic and allow for future growth.

Taking all this into account, it becomes clear that something needs to be done to help traffic flow better and allow for regeneration, housing development and employment zones.

Public transport will also be improved by the changes; shorter journey times and less congestion will make it more reliable and better used.  This in turn will mean people have more options in terms of where they work and spend their money, helping the local economy.  And finally, air quality will be better as emissions from standing traffic will be reduced.

What do you hope to achieve by making the improvements?

The main aims of the scheme will be to:

  • Reduce the severe congestion.
  • Improve journey times.
  • Improve conditions for buses, cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Improve air quality.
  • Reduce the potential for accidents.
  • Improve access for local residents and businesses.
  • Enable access to employment and residential sites along the corridor.

Timescales for delivery

When will work start on site?

These is still a lot of work to do before you see anything out on site; we have to complete the detailed design, go out to tender and then award the contract.  We are planning to start the road works (subject to approvals) in September 2019 and be completed the following year.  If there is a delay to this (or if we can make an early start) we will let residents and businesses know.  Any changes to the planned start and end dates will also be provided at: www.kirklees.gov.uk/majorschemes (opens in a new window)

The funding and decision making process

Who is paying for the improvements? Where is the money coming from?

The project is to be funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority through the West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund.  

The council has to submit a business case to the Combined Authority for their approval for the scheme to proceed.  If successful, we will receive the funding allocated to the scheme.  

We will not be using Council Tax or other council money.  The funding of this scheme will not impact on council services.

Can the money be spent on other projects?

The A62 Leeds Road scheme has funding provisionally allocated from the West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund specifically for this scheme and therefore cannot be spent on any other proposals or schemes.

If the West Yorkshire Combined Authority do not accept the Business Case, then the scheme cannot go ahead and the money earmarked for this project will be allocated elsewhere in the region; not necessarily in Kirklees.

What is the West Yorkshire Combined Authority?

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority was formed in April 2014 to be the driving force for economic growth across the Kirklees, Bradford, Leeds, Calderdale and Wakefield districts and the City of York Council area.  The West Yorkshire Combined Authority brings together key decision making powers into a single body.  To find out more visit: www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk (opens in a new page)

What is the decision making process?

An Expression of Interest for funding to develop highway improvements on this route was approved in 2017.  This provided around £200,000 of funding to develop the project to the next stage - this is called the Outline Business Case (OBC).  The OBC develops preliminary designs, undertakes traffic modelling work to determine a preferred option and estimates scheme costs, risk etc.

The OBC was submitted to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority in July 2018 and approved in October 2018.  The project is now being developed to Full Business Case (FBC) stage which includes detailed design, public engagement.  The FBC is expected to be submitted to the Combined Authority in March 2019, where approval to tender for the works will be made.

The impact on those living nearby

Will you be taking my land? Is my house at risk of demolition?

No.  Given the funding and timescale constraints, we will not be able to provide a new bypass or major lengths of new road.  All works are expected to be within the existing highway boundary, or on council owned land.

There are no proposals to acquire land or demolish any buildings.

Will there be any changes to on-street parking?

There are no proposals to change any existing formal or informal parking arrangements.

Will any roadworks be carried out at night and what will you do to minimise any impact on residents?

The phasing of roadworks still needs to be planned.  Nearer the time of construction local residents will be provided with more detail about what will happen and when.  If night work is needed, we will talk to residents to see what can be done to minimise the impact.

Will I be compensated if the road or improvements disturb my property or decrease its value?

In certain circumstances compensation can be paid for loss of amenity and value of property through Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act 1973.  Claims through Part 1 of this Act are valid after 12 months of the opening of the road.

Compensation is payable if it can be demonstrated that the road improvements have negatively affected the value of land and buildings.  Land and property owners would need to submit a 'Blight Claim' to the Council if they consider that the improvements have negatively impacted on the value of land and buildings.

For more information on Blight, please refer to Government website: https://www.gov.uk/compensation-road-property-value/ (opens in a new page)

What about wildlife and trees?

We have a comprehensive tree planting / landscape scheme, which includes "bee friendly" plants to encourage wildlife.  This work is part of the "Grey to Green corridor" incorporated into the scheme proposals, which aims to remove areas of tarmac (grey) and replace with tree planting / landscaping (green).

Noise and air quality

Will I be compensated if the road improvements increase noise levels in my property?

If noise levels are likely to increase above certain thresholds within 15 years of the completion of the road improvements then the Highway Authority is obliged to provide noise insulation or provide a grant equal to the value of the noise insulation works.

Baseline noise levels will be recorded this year (2018); these will be used to make an assessment of any noise level changes and whether noise insulation will be needed for any properties.

Where noise insulation is needed we will write to property owners to make an offer of noise insulation works or a grant.  A map showing all eligible properties will be published within six months of scheme completion.

Has any air quality monitoring been done?

Air quality monitoring has been carried out by Kirklees Council for several years; reports on air quality can be found at http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/crime-and-safety/air-pollution.aspx (opens in a new window).

Air quality measurements are also being done this, at various locations along the corridor, to provide a baseline record of air quality before any changes are made.

Will air quality be measured after the alterations?

With regard to Kirklees Council obligations, air quality will continue to be measured on an ongoing basis until a point is reached where the Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) declaration can be lifted.

Will the alterations result in a reduction in pollutant levels?

The improvements will contribute towards reducing pollution levels but it is unlikely to bring the areas that have an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) below legal thresholds.  The alterations, together with improvements to vehicle emissions will, over time, result in lower levels of pollution.

Planning permission

Do you need planning permission to do this work?

No - as all the work is within the public highway, they are classed as permitted development granted to the Highway Authority under the Town and Country Planning Act.  We can also use out powers under the Highways Act to do this work.

Bus stops, pedestrians and cyclists

How will people who don't own vehicles benefit?

Journey times and reliability should improve for all types of transport; we also plan to add in a dedicated cycle lane in some parts.  For those on foot, air quality should improve and there will be improved and extra crossing facilities.

Will existing bus stops be improved?

Yes, we will look at existing bus stops along the route between the town centre and Old Fieldhouse Lane to identify any improvements that could be made (new shelters, real time information etc.).

Will there be a new bus stop outside my house?

At this point in time there are no plans to move any bus stops.  However, we would be happy to receive any comments which we can discuss with bus operators during the development process.  Any changes to stop locations will be subject to separate communications and engagement with affected home and business owners.

Will any bus stops be taken away?

No

What about cyclists?

We are looking at providing (where road space allows) segregated cycle lanes, in other areas we will be providing on carriageway cycle lanes.

Have your say - public engagement November 2018

How are you engaging with the public?

An early engagement exercise was undertaken in March of this year to gauge opinion and receive comments on the need for the scheme.  Whilst we were disappointed not to receive many responses, the responses we did receive agreed that something needed to be done to deal with the traffic issues on Leeds Road.

We are now at the next stage in developing this scheme and residents and businesses are being given an opportunity to comment on these proposals.  All of the proposals are being made public and everyone will have another opportunity to comment.

Will my comments be considered, or have decisions already been made?

From 5 to 30 November 2018 we are running a public engagement and inviting comments and questions from the public.  Your comments will help inform the current proposals and provide an opportunity to identify any issues that we are not aware of.

Who can take part?

We welcome opinions and feedback from anyone.  Whether you travel by public transport, walk, drive, cycle, are a business owner or just travel through the area, your views and insight is valuable to us to shape our scheme.

How can I take part?

You will be able to fill in an online survey or visit us at a drop in session.  More information about this is on the project page (opens in a new window).

I work for a group / organisation and transport is important to staff / business, can I take part in the engagement with shared views?

Yes.  We would welcome the views on this.  Please make sure that you have permission to comment on behalf of your group / organisation.

Can I tell other people to take part?

Yes.  Please share the link to the project page with anyone you think would be interested in taking part.  If you intend to submit a joint response on behalf of a group / organisation, please share the link so people have the opportunity to provide an individual response, should they wish to do so.

Are there any other ways to take part or have a say?

We encourage people to take part online either individually or with a group response.  All responses to questionnaires will be collected and the data analysed.  Other feedback and comments received during the engagement period will also be consolidated and considered alongside the questionnaires.  Your can submit additional information, comments or feedback via email on major.transport@kirklees.gov.uk or by writing to the council.

What if I only want to comment on a specific area impacted by the proposed scheme?

If you want to comment on one specific part or area affected you are welcome to do so.  None of the questions in the questionnaire are compulsory, so you can pick and choose where you provide a response.  There is also opportunity to provide free text comments in the questionnaire.  Alternatively you can submit comments and feedback via email to major.transport@kirklees.gov.uk or by writing to the council.

What difference will it make?

By having your say and sharing your views we will try to ensure that the priorities and thoughts you have on your area are reflected in the proposals.

Future updates

Will you keep me updated on progress?

You can sign up to receive updates on the project page.  The West Yorkshire Combined Authority manage this page and will provide updates on behalf of Kirklees Council.  At this time Kirklees Council are not planning a schedule of updates, but will add any to their website: www.kirklees.gov.uk/majorschemes