Plan approved for £6m scheme to improve ‘torturous’ stretch of A638 Doncaster Road in Wakefield

Plans which could see more than £6m of funding being made available to improve travel on a ‘torturous’ have been approved.

By Tony Gardner
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 2:05 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th June 2022, 2:07 pm

Councillors agreed to a proposal to enable a range of works along Doncaster Road in Wakefield for the benefit of bus users, cyclists and pedestrians.

A total of £6.3m could be made available to Wakefield Council once detailed plans have been drawn up.The scheme, which was approved by the council’s Cabinet, proposes a range of improvements along the A638 between the junction of Black Road, at Heath Common, and Chantry Bridge.

Coun Matthew Morley, Cabinet member for planning and highways, said: “The proposal is to make it better for pedestrians, bus users and cyclists down a stretch of road which is quite torturous.

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Councillor Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council's Cabinet member for planning and highways, said the proposals to improve Doncaster Road will make travel better for pedestrians, bus users and cyclists.

“Having conversations with cycle forums and other people, these are much needed improvements to that stretch of road.”

Coun Morley said the scheme will also help to improve bus routes and ease congestion on Black Road towards Heath Common.

He added: “It is a really fantastic scheme that will improve the road for pedestrians, cyclists and all road users.

“From lockdown onwards, more people than ever have started cycling, walking and exploring the district so the more we can do to support them the better.”

Deputy Leader, Coun Jack Hemingway said: “We know that part of the city is very difficult in terms of traffic at the moment.

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“It is not the safest road, so I really welcome the new crossings and the segregated cycle routes.”

Coun Hemingway said he also hoped the scheme would encourage more people to cycle to work.

A report to the Cabinet states: “The aim of the proposed scheme is to encourage people to drive less and use both public transport and active travel along the corridor.

“Delivery of the A638 Doncaster Road corridor scheme is a key element of the strategy to provide the Wakefield area with the infrastructure it needs to support growth and investment.”

The scheme aims to address “key challenges” including high traffic volumes, limited crossing facilities, excessive noise and air pollution and inconsistent bus services.

It also aims to improve walking and cycling facilities in the area.

The proposals include:

– Improving bus stops on Doncaster Road to provide laybys and allowing better pedestrian access.

– Widening Black Road to allow for a southbound bus lane extension.

– A new crossing near the Wakefield Eastern Relief Road junction.

– A crossing and a shared footway for walkers and cyclists between Sugar Lane and Denmark Street.

– Lane changes to straighten both carriageways near the Agbrigg Road junction.

– Widening a riverside cycle and footpath between the Eastern Relief Road and Chantry Bridge , plus installing new lighting and CCTV cameras along the route.

The council is will receive an initial £1.09m of funding from West Yorkshire Combined Authority to fund a full business case and detailed designs of highway improvement works.

A further report will then be put to the Cabinet seeking approval for full funding for the scheme.