Preparations for Keighley road improvement scheme getting underway

31 January 2019

Preparatory work on the £10.3 million Hard Ings Road Improvement Scheme in Keighley is getting underway.

Funded through West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, the project is a joint development with Bradford Council. The Hard Ings Road Improvement Scheme has been designed to reduce journey times and cut delays as well as improve air quality for road users and residents alike. It will also allow greater control over the flow of traffic through this congested part of the town.

The scheme's main improvements include widening the road to two lanes in each direction and a new additional lane for traffic approaching the Beechcliffe roundabout on the A629, where new traffic lights will be installed. There will be improvements to the junction of Lawkholme Lane including a new toucan crossing for pedestrians and cyclists, which will be co-ordinated with the new roundabout traffic lights.

Other elements include the replacement of street lighting along Hard Ings Road with new more efficient LED lights, replacement pavements incorporating a new, shared cycle lane, improved access for allotment holders and new landscaping. Permanent digital Variable Message Signs will also be installed to improve the information available to drivers in the area.

The West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund is supported through the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal - a £1 billion package of Government investment delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

Forty-five new, ornamental, native trees, including maple, lime, holly, cherry and mountain ash trees will be planted in Victoria Park as part of the preparation work for the scheme. The young trees will complement the established mature trees in the popular park and replace a smaller number of low-quality trees being removed as part of the scheme. The programme has been timed to be as sensitive as possible to the local wildlife.

Initial preparatory work for the scheme is set to start on in early February and it is expected to take around eight weeks. It will also involve the installation of the Variable Message Signs.

The main construction work is scheduled to begin in May subject to the tender returns and final approval being given to the full business case in Spring and is expected to take around 58 weeks to complete. A public consultation for the scheme took place in autumn 2016.

Cllr Kim Groves Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee said: "By reducing congestion in Keighley, this West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund scheme will increase opportunities for economic growth and job creation in the area."

"The scheme is forecast to result in a reduction in CO2 emissions of 6,673 tonnes and will deliver improved conditions and facilities for people walking and cycling, which will mean a positive impact on local health."

Julian Jackson, the council's Assistant Director of Planning, Transportation and Highways, said: "This scheme will make improvements to air quality in the area and reduce journey times at this congested bottleneck for both residents and road users including motorists, pedestrians and cyclists."

"We realise that this work will cause disruption to those living and working in and travelling through the area, but the improvements are necessary and will be worth it."

"The work that we are doing to replant the trees will bring more trees into the area complementing the mature trees in the park. The whole scheme allows us to take the opportunity to make the road safer and enhance the quality of this stretch of road."

Find out more about the scheme