Thursday, September 24, 2020
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Tong-Fulneck Valley: Green belt link road plans to be discussed

A new South Bradford Link Road will be discussed at a meeting tomorrow, writes Chris Young.

The huge infrastructure scheme would link Westgate Hill roundabout with the East of Bradford, removing traffic from busy Tong Street and the Holme Wood estate.

The route has been in the planning stages for as far back as 2012, and last summer West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which will fund £46.3 million of the estimated £64.2 million cost, agreed to provide £1.2 million to fund an outline business case for the road so the project can move forward.

This business case will lead to a more detailed route being produced.

Campaigners from the Save Tong-Fulneck Valley group have warned on the impact on the green belt between Pudsey and Bradford.  

They say the plans are essentially a link road through Tong/ Fulneck Valley, to be followed with proposals for 2,500 houses to “back fill the road” to Holme Wood and Tyersal.

tong fulneck valley opposition bramley park
An objector at Bramley Parkrun last year. Photo: Simon Cullingworth

At an online meeting of Bradford Council’s Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday, members will be asked to approve a “procurement strategy for the appointment of a suitably qualified consultant to develop the required business cases to support the delivery of the South East Bradford Link Road project.

They will be told that developing a business case for the project is “significant and currently beyond the Council’s own internal resources to deliver.”

Instead the Council will appoint a consultant to draw up a business case for the plans.

The exact route has yet to be decided, and the committee will be told that while it will most likely link to the Westgate Hill roundabout, the Northern section of the route could begin at either Dick Lane, Dick Lane / Gipsy Lane Gyratory or Leeds Road.

The business case would likely plot the exact route of the road.

It will also include new cycle and pedestrian facilities.

The road scheme has proved controversial in both Bradford and Leeds, as it will likely involve part of the route being built over Green Belt Land. The scheme will also be used to “unlock” land for up to 2,500 homes to be built.

It would also allow new sites for commercial developments, and the Combined Authority has said the road could create “thousands” of new jobs.

The report to Tuesday’s Committee says the road will reduce traffic congestion on Leeds Road and Dick Lane, and junction of Tong Street and A651 Bradford Road.

It says that due to the reduced congestion, the road would “support improvements to quality of life factors in South East Bradford e.g. air quality.”

Funding for the scheme comes from West Yorklshire Combined Authority’s West Yorkshire + Transport Fund – and the report says it is important that work is not delayed due to the Council’s inability to draw up the business case in-house.

It says:

“Delivery of the Outline Business Case for this project using the Council’s own resources would significantly delay delivery of this project within the overall Transport Fund portfolio due to other schemes currently in the delivery pipeline requiring resources to progress.

“Therefore to ensure that the development of this project can continue to align with the wider WY+TF programme of the Combined Authority it is considered expedient that the development work be externalised and managed through a dedicated Bradford Project Manager.”

Previous timetables for the scheme have said work would be unlikely to start before 2023, and may not be completed until 2025.

The committee meets online at 5.30pm on Tuesday.

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