Have your say on new designs for M1/M62 Lofthouse junction

Three options to improve the busy M1/M62 Lofthouse interchange have been put forward for public consultation today.

Monday, 1st November 2021, 2:24 pm
Updated Monday, 1st November 2021, 2:26 pm
OPTION A

National Highways is inviting road users, residents and other members of the community to have their say on the options, all of which will improve safety, create more capacity to cut congestion and improve journey times, boost connectivity to support economic growth while minimising the impact on the environment.

Approximately 75,000 vehicles move through the junction every day, leading to significant queues at peak times and disrupting the journeys of thousands of road users. Travel demand is set to grow over the next 30 years, with 107,000 vehicles expected to use the interchange every day by 2044.

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “Works to improve this busy junction will help ensure that this crucial interchange is fit for the future, creating safer, faster and better journeys for people in West Yorkshire as we continue to build back better from the pandemic.

Three options to improve the busy M1/M62 Lofthouse interchange have been put forward for public consultation today.

"Therefore, it’s really important that as many local people as possible give their feedback through the consultation process.

“There are plenty of ways to get involved. You can find out more online, attend an exhibition, dial into a telephone surgery or pick up a copy of the consultation document at your local library.”

National Highways project Manager Andrew Potter said: “We’re asking as many people as possible to have their say on the options under consideration. Road infrastructure improvements affect everyone. They help us move around the country and connect with one another, whether we are driving, cycling or walking.

“It’s essential that we understand people’s views so we can ensure we deliver the right scheme to make the Lofthouse interchange fit for the future.

OPTION B

“Feedback from this public consultation will help us understand how the proposed options impact road users and the local community. People will be helping to shape the scheme and maximise the benefits as we progress the design.”

Details and short videos of all three options can be found by clicking on the consultation button on the project webpage at highwaysengland.co.uk/m1-m62-lofthouse.

Option A - new roundabout

The existing roundabout was built in the 1960s and now requires regular maintenance to keep it safe. This option will replace the existing roundabout with a new one with additional lanes built to the latest standards.

OPTION C

It will require less maintenance which means there will be less disruption to road users. If traffic volumes continue to increase in the future, the existing traffic problems at the interchange may return within five years with this option.

Option B - new free flow link

Free-flow links allow drivers to travel from one motorway onto another, without having to stop at a roundabout or traffic lights. Option B would see a new free-flow link connecting the M1 northbound to the M62 eastbound.

It would pass through the centre of the interchange to reduce the additional land required and help to minimise the environmental impact. The existing roundabout would still be retained and would require regular maintenance work to keep it fit for purpose.

As with Option A, if traffic volumes continue to increase in the future, the existing traffic problems may return within 15 years, at which point another project may be required to provide further improvements.

Option C - Full free-flow interchange

New free-flow links would be provided between the M62 and M1 to remove the need for vehicles to stop at the interchange. The new free-flow links would pass through the middle of the junction to reduce the additional land required and help to minimise the environmental impact.

The existing roundabout would no longer be required and would be demolished, avoiding the current and future delays caused by maintenance work.

The consultation runs from today until 11.59pm on Friday, December 10 2021, with feedback helping National Highways develop its planning application for a Development Consent Order (DCO), should the scheme be developed further.

A DCO is required for all nationally significant infrastructure projects and will allow for the Planning Inspectorate to make a recommendation to the Secretary of State, who will decide on whether development consent should be granted for the proposed scheme.

Members of the public are invited to find out more about the options by visiting a virtual exhibition at www.nationalhighways.co.uk/m1-m62-lofthouse any time between now and the end of the consultation.

They can also visit a mobile exhibition where the project team will be on hand to explain the options and answer any questions. The exhibitions will take place at the following times and venues:

Wednesday, November 10: Junction 32 Shopping Outlet, Tomahawk Trail, Castleford, 10am to 5pm;

Thursday, November 11: Stourton Park and Ride, M621 junction 7, 7am to 6.30pm;

Friday, November 12: Crown Point Retail Park, Junction Street, Leeds, 10am to 5pm.

In addition telephone surgeries will be held where people will be able to speak to a member of the project team and ask any questions about the proposals. These will run at the following times :

Wednesday, November 10: 2pm-4pm

Tuesday, November 16: 5pm-7pm

Saturday, November 27: 10am – 12pm

Thursday, December 2: 10am – 12pm

The number to call is 08081 964 502.

Consultation brochures can be picked up from Ardsley and Tingley Library 213a Bradford Road, Tingley, WF3 2DL, requested by emailing [email protected] or by calling 08081 964 502 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Details on how to respond can be found online or in the brochure.

This project is one of 32 announced in National Highways’ 2020-25 Delivery Plan as being considered by the government for further development for the next five-year roads investment period which starts in 2025.

Some £347 million of funding has been allocated to the development of these projects, which have been identified through National Highways’ programme of strategic studies, route strategies, specific areas of research and work with stakeholders.

Not all schemes in the pipeline will progress to construction.