More misery as Town End plan delayed

Town End junction
Town End junction
  • Traffic lights will be replaced with two roundabouts
  • Scheme was originally due to be complete by end of July
  • “Additional works” mean works have now been delayed until “early autumn”

Long-awaited work to replace Pontefract’s Town End junction with two roundabouts has hit further delays.

The £600,000 scheme, which will see the current traffic light systems removed, started in March following completion of the Northern Link Road.

It was due to be complete by the end of July but council bosses say that additional work to dig up pipes and cables mean it is now not due for completion until “early autumn.”

Graham West, highways and transport manager at Wakefield Council, said: “It is disappointing there has been a delay in the construction of the Town End Junction.

“The contractors have made us aware that they have come across some additional works with excavating pipelines and cables, which can occur with this type of project.

“We are working with the contractors on a new schedule, to ensure the additional work is delivered by early autumn.”

Council bosses first announced plans for changes at the junction in February 2011 after Town End – which had a double roundabout system until 1996 – was earmarked as a transport priority after it was found to have the worst traffic congestion levels in the Wakefield district.

Work on the scheme was due to start in spring 2012 but the plans were put on hold as the council needed to buy a piece of land on Wakefield Road so the scheme could go ahead. The land – which has now been secured – will allow a filter lane to be installed on Wakefield Road approaching the junction.

Mr West said: “We have been talking to the bus operators, businesses and residents and the feedback we have received is that the delay hasn’t resulted in congestion in the area.

“We can assure residents that the council will not be affected financially as the terms of the contract specify the contractor is responsible for any delays.”