£9.5m Newton Bar improvement scheme officially opens
and live on Freeview channel 276
The £9.5 million investment, which has been fully funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, will make it easier and safer for people to move around and will see congestion and journey times reduced.
Part of the investment is in 11 new pedestrian and cycle crossings at Newton Bar. Before there were three crossing in the area.
Pedestrians and cyclists have 1,320 metres of new combined footpath and cycle paths, making the area more accessible for thousands of residents, including people who use wheelchairs, and parents and carers with pushchairs.
Coun Matthew Morley, Cabinet Member for Planning and Highways, said: “Thousands of people live in the Newton Bar area.
"A big part of the project is to ensure that everyone can safely get around the A650 and Newton Bar roundabout.
“We’ve already had some great feedback from pedestrians. They’ve told us the new layout is making a big difference. The additional crossing points are making it much safer, quicker, and convenient to get around the area.
“Our plans for new trees in the area, and proposals for a nature area nearby will also do a lot to improve the local environment. It’s part of our plan to support tackling climate change in our district”.
Coun Peter Carlill, Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “This has been a huge investment to develop the transport network in Wakefield. It will reduce the amount of traffic and make it easier for people to walk, cycle and use the bus.
“The reduction in traffic congestion and planting of more trees will benefit the local environment. It will help us towards achieving our ambitious target of becoming net-zero by 2038.
“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to help fund this. We are aiming for a brighter, greener and better-connected West Yorkshire.”
The council aims to create a nature area on land at former offices at Newton Bar, where 20 trees have been saved and is seeking planning permission for 300 new trees to be planted.
As part of the roundabout scheme, a new underground tank that holds 400m3 of water has been installed in a grassed area. It will help manage flood risk to nearby homes.
Other changes include the roundabout at Newton Bar being made larger, a new bus lane being extended by 150 metres on the A61, and improvements being made to the signals at Leeds Road, Bradford Road, and Wentworth Street.