Featherstone by-pass campaign could get £280k boost

More than £280,000 could be provided to kickstart plans for a bypass around Ackworth, Pontefract and Featherstone after a 30-year campaign.

Local authority bosses will meet today to decide on funding for a feasibility study into a proposed South Featherstone Link Road.

Campaigners including the South East Link Road Action Group (SELRAG) have been calling for a bypass for more than three decades to reduce traffic and boost road safety.

The bypass and improved transport links could also lead to new badly-needed new homes being built.

The cash would come from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which will decide on a total of £1.8m for transport projects at its board meeting today.

Sarah Balfour, chairwoman of Ackworth Parish Council said “The parish council is in full agreement with this work and is supported by SELRAG, who have been pushing for such improvements for over 30 years.”

In a statement the West Yorkshire Combined Authority said: “A new South Featherstone Link Road scheme would include a bypass around the Wakefield district towns of Ackworth, Featherstone and Pontefract.

“The new road would unlock land for housing, development and employment opportunities as well as reducing congestion and improving road safety.

“Members at Thursday’s meeting will be asked to give their backing to £284,000 for a feasibility study into the scheme.”

Cash to help draw up plans for road improvements south of Dewsbury and to York’s outer ring road could also be approved today.

Funding would come from the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund and Growth Deal.