'Busy roundabout has reached its limit' warns councillor

The 'racecourse roundabout'. Picture courtesy of Google.
The 'racecourse roundabout'. Picture courtesy of Google.

A roundabout on a busy main route connecting Pontefract to the M62 motorway is "at capacity", a councillor has warned.

Coun David Jones, for Pontefract South, says the 'racecourse roundabout' has reached its limit, with congestion regularly backing up along the A639.

The roundabout has five exits - the Park Road Retail Park, Pontefract Racecourse, Halfords, along to the M62 motorway and towards Jubilee Way.

Coun Jones said: "Over the last three months, the Pontefract councillors have been raising serious concerns about the racecourse roundabout. It is at capacity as far as we are concerned."

Coun Jones said they were concerned new developments, including three industrial units planned for land off Park Road, close to Halfords and Travis Perkins, could increase the volume of traffic in the area.

And they have asked Wakefield Council to look at what can be done to reduce congestion.

Coun Jones said: "When there's a racecourse meeting, which is an important part of Pontefract, that increases traffic. There's the new leisure centre being planned for Pontefract Park, there's people accessing the retail park, there's a housing development at Beechnut and each day there are coaches that drop off and pick up students from New College.

"These are all things we have highlighted. At certain times of the day and at weekends there's heavy congestion, which sometimes builds right back from the roundabout to the M62 going one way and right to Jubilee Way in the other direction."

He said traffic monitoring equipment had now been installed to build up a clear picture of the use of the roundabout.

Meanwhile, a decision on the industrial units planned for land off Park Road, has been deferred.

The council's planning and highways committee were due to discuss the reserved matters planning application, which was recommended for approval, at a meeting earlier this month.

But the discussion was postponed and a decision has yet to be made.

Outline plans for industrial use of the vacant land were given the green light in October.