A £600,000 road improvement scheme in Marsh has broadly achieved its aims, says a report.

But more needs to be done to address some issues - particularly "rat-running" on side roads.

And there has also been a plea for more parking to boost trade.

Councillors will tomorrow hear how the scheme on the A640 Westbourne Road and New Hey Road - the main route to the westbound M62 - has helped reduce serious accidents, improve bus services and encourage more people to walk.

But it has also led to an increase in traffic at peak times on side roads and has not boosted trade.

The report to Kirklees Council's transport overview and scrutiny panel discusses the main impact of the scheme, which was completed in April, 2003.

It concludes that while the overall success of the scheme is subjective, based on whether people involved are a pedestrian, bus user, car owner, business person or resident, the positives outweigh the negatives.

Accident rates have been reduced by 9% overall since the scheme was finished.

And the number of people are killed or severely injured has fallen dramatically - from 12% of the total accident figure to just 0.5%.

Almost three-quarters of residents have also praised crossing and refuge islands. They say they have made it easier to cross the road and improved safety.

Environmental improvements, footpath resurfacing, paving and street furniture have also made the area more attractive.

But side roads, including Syringa Street, Thornhill Avenue and Jim Lane, have shown an increase in traffic at peak times.

And despite a 15% increase in short-stay on-street parking to boost trade, more than 60% of businesses surveyed say access to their business had not been improved.

The report recommends that further discussions be made with councillors to see how increased traffic volumes on side roads can be managed.

Accidents should also be monitored for a further 12 months, particularly at Gledholt and Bay Horse roundabouts, the report said.