District to Benefit from £1.4bn Regional Transport Improvements

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has agreed a £1.4bn programme of transport improvements for West Yorkshire and York, with the potential to create an extra 20,000 jobs. 

More than 30 projects are scheduled for completion by 2021 several of which will directly benefit the Wakefield District.  In addition a new rail Line to the Aire Valley between Leeds and Wakefield alongside planned Castleford highways improvement is scheduled for completion in 2025.  This follows the projected completion of the Pontefract Northern Bypass in early 2015.

Local projects that will draw on the funding include;

• The Wakefield Eastern Relief Road which will act as a bypass to the City Centre,
• The Wakefield City Centre Package focuses on Kirkgate and Denby Dale junctions to ease congestion and to facilitate the regeneration of the Kirkgate and Ings Road
• The Glasshoughton Southern Link Road which includes the upgrading of footpaths and bridleway facilities around the roundabout at Cutskye Road.

The schemes have been assessed to ensure they provide maximum benefit to the local area, including the creation of further jobs and supporting continued housing growth across the district.  The objectives adopted by the Combined Authority are in line with the Strategic Economic Plan that was put together by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The Growth Deal settlement announced in July 2014 helped secure a further 20-year settlement of £30m per year to support the West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund.  This will result in a further £420m in government funding from 2021-22 to 2034-35.

Combined authority chairman and leader of Wakefield Council; Peter Box CBE said;

‘This vital programme of transport development focuses on delivering benefits which transcend district boundaries.  They will improve businesses to business and employees to businesses links, unlock areas for potential commercial and housing development and give companies and individuals better access to the strategic national transport network.’

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership chairman Roger Marsh added;

‘Developing a connected city region with the 21st Century infrastructure to support is a core part of our Strategic Economic Plan to grow the economy.  This investment is vital if we are to achieve our goal of becoming a net contributor to the public purse, as it enables businesses and residents to connect to people, places and markets more efficiently and has the potential to create an extra 20,000 jobs in the city region.’