Plans to overhaul busy Dawsons Corner in a bid to ease congestion and decrease bus journey times WILL be ‘paused’ for at least a year due to spiralling costs.
The scheme is one of dozens across West Yorkshire whose mothballing is expected to save around £270m.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority has already spent £1.9m on the scheme, but a report considered by councillors states the pausing will save £6m. Final approval to proceed with the scheme has now been pushed back until November 2023.
As reported by WLD in October, Leeds City Council 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.
A 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 schemes listed for a pause include improvements on the A61 Scott Hall Road and A58 Roundhay Road, which were projected to cost £14m and £9.5m respectively.
Rail parking packages at a number of stations – including Guiseley, Apperley Bridge and Outwood – will also be delayed, alongside plans for an inland port at Stourton.