Call to ‘sort out our road’

Traffic backing up on the A639. Inset the 'racecourse roundabout'.
Traffic backing up on the A639. Inset the 'racecourse roundabout'.

A busy main route connecting Pontefract to the M62 motorway is “at capacity”, it has been warned.

And Coun David Jones, for Pontefract South said the road’s ‘racecourse roundabout’ has reached its limit, with traffic regularly backing up.

Coun Jones said: “At certain times of the day and at weekends there’s heavy congestion.

“It sometimes builds right back from the roundabout to the M62 going one way and right to Jubilee Way in the other direction.”

Mr Gundill said vehicles used the road to access the retail park, motorway, the racecourse, Prince’s Park Housing development and Pontefract New College.

He said it was also used as a link to get between Pontefract, Glass Houghton and Xscape, as well as Castleford.

And they both fear that with new developments planned in the area, congestion is only going to get worse.

They said the volume of traffic would increase with three industrial units planned for land off Park Road, close to Halfords and Travis Perkins, and the £15m leisure centre ear marked for Pontefract Park.

Mr Gundill also said that once the planned new Castleford Tigers stadium is built at Glass Houghton any unavoidable raceday and matchday clashes would see thousands of people using the road. He said: “The A639 has got to be sorted out. I do not understand how all these developments are being allowed piecemeal without any thought to the overall use of that road.”

Neil Rodgers, the council’s service director for planning, transport and highways, said yellow hatch markings are being introduced on the roundabout to stop motorists blocking access and improve traffic flow He said: “We can assure residents that any developments which have the potential to result in a significant increase in traffic are assessed by the council through the usual planning application processes.”

The authority said it would also look at congestion in Pontefract as part of its district-wide Local Plan, which guides development.