A senior West Yorkshire councillor has insisted plans for an ambitious multi-million pound road scheme will help revitalise areas of south Bradford.
The assertion comes despite growing concerns over the impact the new link road would have on the green belt between Bradford and Pudsey.
There are also concerns that the road would unlock 2,500 new homes being built in the area.
At a meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) investment committee, early plans were heard for a £64 million road which would link the Drighlington Bypass to Dick Lane, with the route running to the east of Holme Wood in a bid to alleviate traffic in the area.
During the meeting, Cllr Alex Ross Shaw, who is also Bradford Council’s head of transport, claimed that the road wasn’t just to alleviate traffic in a congested area of the city.
“Looking at the objectives of the scheme. It’s not just about congestion.
“This isn’t moving traffic to another road. This is about a regeneration scheme. This is about bringing quality homes and places to live in these areas.
“It can lift communities as well as bringing quality places to live. I am pleased to see it come forward.
“We are fairly confident right now.”
Presenting the scheme to panel members, WYCA officer James Bennett said that the road could unlock thousands of jobs and new homes across south Bradford, but stressed it could be six years before the road is likely to be finished. He said:
“This scheme is at an early inception stage, so it’s looking at whether it is eligible.
“We need to ask whether to fund the business case evaluation. There have been questions asked about the scheme, so I should emphasise that it is very early days.
“It is about building infrastructure and jobs growth.
“The risk to WYCA is that there is a greenbelt review ongoing in Bradford, that has not completed yet.
“The total scheme costs could be £60 million.”
Members were told that the total cost of scheme will be as high as £64.2 million, of which £46.3 million will come from WYCA.
The panel approved £1.213 million to fund an outline business case for the road so the project can continue. This will lead to a more detailed route being produced.
The decision comes as residents from both Pudsey and Tong met at Tong Village Hall this week to discuss the proposals at a public meeting.
The public meeting agreed to collect some facts to oppose the plans, including flooding information, wildlife photos, commuter habits and traffic surveys.
As reported by WLD last week, councillors in Pudsey and Calverley & Farsley wards are also alarmed at the proposals.
They believe it could do irreparable damage to the greenbelt between Leeds and Bradford and could have far-reaching impacts on West Leeds if the road expands to also include connectivity to Leeds Bradford Airport, as is suggested in a WYCA report.
They are also concerned that as yet no consultation has taken place with local councillors in Leeds.
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