The Calderdale Council’s Cabinet meeting on Monday, 9th October, will address the progress of projects aimed at enhancing the transport network in the Calderdale region. Calderdale is currently reaping the benefits of substantial investments from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund. This funding is supporting initiatives on the A629 and A641 routes, with the goal of revolutionising travel in and around these areas.
During the meeting, members of the Council’s Cabinet will review a report that provides updates on the advancement of these projects, along with the current budget status, taking into account the findings of the 2022 inflation review.
In late 2022, the Combined Authority, in collaboration with partner councils, conducted a comprehensive review of its transport project portfolio. This review outlined various adjustments to address inflationary pressures and to alleviate overprogramming.
The agreed-upon position entailed increased funding for A629 phases 1b and 2, while the budget for the A641 remained unchanged. The A629 Phase 4 and Halifax Station Gateway projects were put on hold until additional funding became available.
The A629 phase 2 project in Halifax town centre aims to enhance pedestrian and cycle access both into and within the town centre. Additionally, it involves an upgrade of the road network around the area. Several high-quality improvements to the town centre’s appearance and atmosphere will be implemented, including the pedestrianisation of Market Street. Furthermore, bus routes in and around the town will be enhanced, resulting in better connections between the rail and bus stations and improved on-street bus stop facilities.
Final approvals for this project were granted by the Combined Authority in mid-September 2023, with a total funding of £64 million agreed upon. Following the appointment of contractors, it is anticipated that construction will commence in early 2024.
The A629 Calder and Hebble Junction (phase 1b) project is also making good progress. Its objective is to enhance road safety and reduce travel times between Huddersfield and Halifax. The project will also incorporate upgraded amenities for pedestrians, public transport users, and cyclists.
The entire phase 1b project is set to conclude by summer 2024. Some components, such as the new link bridge, may be accessible earlier. Most of the road network is projected to be open by early 2024. A decision on the final project milestone funding is anticipated at a later meeting of the Combined Authority this year.
The third project supported by the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund is the A641 improvement scheme. This scheme seeks to enhance the infrastructure and connectivity on this crucial route through Brighouse, linking Huddersfield and Bradford. It aims to ensure that communities in South East Calderdale have access to sustainable transportation options. The outline designs and costings for this scheme are in the final stages of preparation.
Calderdale Council’s Leader, Cllr Jane Scullion, said; “Calderdale is benefitting from a significant amount of funding from the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund which will transform travel around the borough and deliver major economic benefits. Although we had to make some difficult decisions as part of the inflation review last year, I’m pleased that these three ambitious projects are progressing as planned.
“The report being discussed at the meeting of Cabinet gives us an opportunity to reflect on progress of the projects and receive an update on upcoming milestones, acknowledging the current financial position of each project.”
The review and update of the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund programme will be discussed at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday, 9th October 2023 at Halifax Town Hall, starting from 3pm. The meeting will also be accessible for online streaming at https://calderdale.public-i.tv/core/portal/home.
The A629 phase 1b and phase 2, as well as the A641 projects, have been granted a total funding of over £170 million through the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal. This growth deal represents a £1 billion investment package from the Government, facilitated by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and implemented by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, with the aim of driving growth and job creation across the Leeds City Region.