A major scheme is planned to ease the massive pressure off the Calderdale Way – and it will involve building a bridge over a canal.
The multi-million pound plans to reduce congestion at the bottom of the Elland bypass should reduce journey times for drivers, including people who travel to Halifax for hospital services.
But health campaigners fighting to stop services being moved from Huddersfield to Halifax are not convinced.
The scheme will see a major upgrade of the Calder and Hebble junction and the creation of a new link road between the A629 Calderdale Way and Stainland Road which will involve building a road bridge over the canal.
A new roundabout will be developed on Stainland Road. If all goes to plan the scheme should start in late 2018.
Calderdale Council may need to use compulsory purchase order (CPO) powers to acquire the land it needs for the road improvements.
Negotiations are underway with landowners to buy the plots needed.
A report to the council’s Cabinet committee states that 12 plots of land are needed, including a strip owned by the Watermill pub and the properties from 334 to 340 Salterhebble Hill which will require demolition.
The cost of land acquisitions has been put at £1.4m
The council says the road improvement scheme will improve access to Copley, Sowerby Bridge and Halifax and may also lead to additional express bus services between Halifax and Huddersfield.
Clr Barry Collins, Cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: “The A629 is a well-travelled and much-needed route in Calderdale – it’s a key link between Halifax and the M62 motorway and thousands of people rely on it to get to work and do business.
“The road is frequently congested so we are taking action to tackle this to make it easier for people to get around the borough. Without these improvements the traffic issues will only get worse, especially with a growing population and economy.
“Our whole package of A629 improvements is also vital to help unlock the new development and job creation opportunities that will be offered by the major regeneration of Halifax town centre over the coming years.”
But health campaigner Karl Deitch, who has helped lead the campaign to save A&E services being transferred to Halifax, said he couldn’t see the road improvements making much difference to journey times.
He said road improvements were not the answer to the loss of health services which he blamed on ‘crippling’ PFI debts.
Cabinet members will be asked at a meeting on July 10 to enter into an agreement with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to release funding for the improvements.
The council is also planning to improve the junction at Hollas Lane/Wakefield Road in Copley and resurface Wakefield Road, Brighouse and Skircoat Road, Halifax.