Construction of the Wakefield Eastern Relief Road, the first transport project funded as a result of the £1bn transport fund for West Yorkshire and York, got underway on Friday 26 June 2015.
Funding for the £33m scheme, which was secured as a result of the LEP’s Growth Deal with Government in 2014 for projects across the Leeds City Region, will create jobs and growth and ease congestion between the north and east of the city.
The 5.5km road will be built by Wakefield Council and will provide a link around the city from Aberford Road in the north to Doncaster Road in the south. It will reduce congestion in Wakefield by providing an alternative route avoiding the city centre and giving improved access to the M62. Clearance work has already taken place and the road will be opened to traffic around Spring 2017.
WYCA Chair Cllr Peter Box said:
“The benefits the new Wakefield Eastern Relief Road will deliver are in line with the Combined Authority’s and LEP’s shared aims is of creating an environment where businesses can grow, 62,000 new, good quality jobs can be created, and young people can find a job or training opportunity.
“This new link also goes through land where 2,500 of the 65,000 new homes we want to see built to address our city region’s housing needs can be developed.”
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LEP Chair, Roger Marsh said:
“This is the first game-changing transport project to start on site as a result of our historic Local Growth Deal secured last year. This important project will support us to unlock the untapped economic growth in our region and enhance the local area by better connecting people to jobs and goods to market.
“This is another great example of the public and private sectors working together to bring economic prosperity to our great cities, towns and villages and improve the region for generations to come.”
Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport & Highways, Cllr Dave Dagger, said:
“By providing a new, direct connection between Doncaster Road and Aberford Road, this project will have a real impact on reducing numbers of journeys which currently have to be made through Wakefield city centre for local residents and, importantly, local businesses needing to get onto the motorway network.”
The road goes through a large area of land which will be developed into a new community, known as City Fields.
Miller Homes is due to start building new homes on the site later this year. Once completed the City Fields will provide parks, retail and leisure facilities, and business premises all form part of the master plan for the area.
The new road will support growth by providing better access to the wider transport network and motorways for local businesses and residents and will cross the Wakefield Kirkgate to Normanton railway line and River Calder on new bridges.
Footpaths linking to the Trans-Pennine Trail will run alongside and new woodland and wetlands to attract wildlife and space for public seating and art will be created.
It will also improve conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and bus passengers in the city centre. Growth Deal projects are designed to support economic growth and job creation, encourage house-building and fund transport schemes that can unlock potential and accelerate growth.
Construction companies Hochtief and Buckingham Group were appointed in April to build the new road.