A £77m plan to change the road network around Bradley and Cooper Bridge will be unveiled this summer.
And it’s coming years sooner than previously thought.
Highways officials have confirmed they have significantly advanced plans to provide a bypass to the Huddersfield side of the constantly jammed Cooper Bridge roundabout.
Five routes are being considered across land between the White Cross Inn at the foot of Bradley Road and the A644 Wakefield Road – the road to the M62.
Kirklees Council highways official, Keith Bloomfield, also confirmed the council wants to make the A644, which is technically in Calderdale, a dual carriageway.
The detail emerged in the latest session of the Local Plan inquiry where Kirklees Council was pitching its case to build on Bradley Park Golf Course to a planning inspector.
A document submitted to the inspector by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority confirmed it would be providing £69.3m of its £1bn transport fund towards the £77m scheme, with the balance being found from housing and development firms.
Mr Bloomfield told the inquiry that the new road, which will also link with the planned homes on what is now the golf course, was “challenging” in engineering terms.
It will have to cross the River Calder and a railway line, and possibly the Calder and Hebble Navigation, depending on which route is chosen.
Despite pressure from the inspector and interested organisations at the Local Plan inquiry, Mr Bloomfield said they could not yet reveal the routes or if they had a favourite.
He said consultation with land owners was yet to begin and there were 50 to 60 land titles involved.
He said the council would attempt to negotiate purchase of the titles required but would use its compulsory purchase order powers if necessary.
A project timetable submitted to the inspector shows the council hopes to reveal the maps of the route by this June.
It says a preference will be chosen by September this year with public consultation running in 2019.
The schedule does not give a date for the new road construction but says all the improvements will be finished by July 2023 – two years sooner than originally intended.
The widening of Wakefield Road would be the first scheme to begin as there is only one landowner affected – the historic Kirklees Priory estate.
The document says work could begin in a little over two years in June 2020.
Changes to the major junction where Bradley Road, Leeds Road and Colne Bridge Road meet, would begin in February 2021 with alterations to the Cooper Bridge roundabout itself in July 2021.
Mr Bloomfield told the inspector the widescale improvements were not just for the planned 2,000 homes on Bradley Park golf course but to “cure” some of Huddersfield’s existing traffic jams and provide future capacity.
He also told the inspector plans for a new junction off the M62 at Bradley had not been ruled out.
Investigations into the worth of J24a, due to feed onto the Bradford Road between Brighouse and Fixby, had proved “inconclusive” but were still being considered.
He said the new slip road was unlikely before 2030, adding that the Bradley Park housing scheme did not rely on it.
Further evidence to the inspector revealed disagreement between the council and others about the suitability of access points to the housing estate if the council got the go ahead to allow building on the golf course.
Entrances to the estate have been designed off Bradford Road currently giving access to farmland, through Tithe House Way off Bradley Road and at Lamb Cote Road – the current driveway into the golf course.
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A representative from Optima Consulting said the junctions would not offer the capacity needed for residents or meet safety requirements.
But a spokesman from Fore Consulting, acting for the council, disagreed and said the Bradley Bar roundabout did not have any capacity problems – prompting laughter from the audience of local residents and golf course users.
The inquiry into Kirklees Council’s Local Plan continues throughout March with inspector, Katie Child, due to spend the rest of the year reviewing the evidence.
She has the power to alter specific sites and also throw the whole Local Plan out.