Could Dawsons Corner improvements be ‘paused’ due to spiralling costs?

Dawsons Corber Farsley
Dawsons Corner. Photo: Betty Longbottom, wikimedia image used under Creative Commons Licence

By Chris Young, Local Democracy Reporter

TRANSPORT schemes across West Yorkshire, including Dawsons Corner in Pudsey, are likely to be “paused” due to spiralling inflation costs.

It could mean some long-planned projects are not completed until towards the end of the decade. Among those likely to be paused is a scheme to improve traffic flow at Dawsons Corner – one of the main routes between Bradford and Leeds – and plans for a Leeds inland port.

When West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Finance, Resources and Corporate Committee meets on November 10, members will be told that dozens of upcoming transport and infrastructure schemes have been reviewed in light of inflation costs.

Many of them will be paused or “pipelined” – set to one side until new funding becomes available. The mothballing is expected to save around £270m.

A report to members says more than £1.9m has already been spent on the works at Dawsons Corner but pausing now will save £6m. 

As reported by WLD, Leeds City Council last month approved plans that would see the four-way junction redesigned, with a view to widening the approach roads, installing new bus lanes and pedestrian crossings and improving cycling provision. The proposals were originally due to cost around £20m.

The report says a mix of high inflation costs and pressures created by the war in Ukraine and Covid are to blame for the financial predicament. It says: “Costs have and continue to increase on all transport programmes, however the funding allocation remains the same, meaning there is a significant risk that the funding allocations won’t be able to fund all the current projects within the transport programmes.

“The Combined Authority and partners want to continue to deliver the programmes in their entirety, therefore the agreed way forward is to pause and pipeline certain projects for delivery over a longer time frame and continue to deliver prioritised projects at pace.”

Also on the list of projects likely to be paused is the South East Bradford Access Road.

The plan – currently costed at £46.3m, would see a new route created between Holme Wood and Westgate Hill Street in Tong.

The project has proved controversial, with a section of the route likely to pass through the Green Belt between Bradford and Pudsey.

Other projects in the district likely to be paused include improved parking at Apperley Bridge, Guiseley and Ben Rhydding stations, the £10m Halifax Station Gateway plan and a £62m plan for corridor improvements on the A62 to Cooper Bridge in Kirklees.

A spokesperson for the Combined Authority said: “Record levels of inflation, combined with the knock-on effects of Brexit, the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, are having a significant impact on the costs of infrastructure projects across the country.

“We have worked closely with our local authority partners to minimise this disruption and ensure no part of the region is unfairly impacted as we identify schemes that can be paused and delivered over a longer time period.

“We await the upcoming Autumn Statement and hope that ministers will spare local government from another round of austerity so that projects like these that will help deliver growth and higher living standards across all parts of the country can go ahead.”

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  1. So Apperley Bridge, Guiseley, and Ben Rhydding stations, along with Halifax, have funding cut, or are “paused”. Compare that with Crossrail in London, which was years late, and had an extra 5 billion pounds chucked at it by Government. This at a time when the Leeds leg of HS2 was cancelled and the Northern Rail powerhouse doesn’t like coming to fruition, due to lack of money. Si, it’s OK to live in London, you get loads of money chucked at you at the expense of the rest of the Country!


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