Town End plan ‘will ease congestion’

Town End junction, Pontefract
Town End junction, Pontefract
  • Phase one: early March - Work on Wakefield Road to make way for the new left filter lane to be installed.
  • Phase two: early March to mid-May - A new footpath aligned on Wakefield Road and gas mains moved.
  • Phase three: mid-March to mid-April - New pedestrian crossings installed on Jubilee Way, Wakefield Road, Southgate and Mill Hill.
  • Phase four: mid-April to end of April- Existing traffic islands removed and temporary roundabouts installed using traffic cones.
  • Phases five to nine: early May to early June- Footpath work carried out.
  • Phases 10 and 11: early June to end of June - New splitter island and mini roundabout installed.
  • Phase 12: end of June to early July - Junction to be resurfaced.
  • * All dates are estimated and subject to change.

Long-awaited work to replace Pontefract’s notorious Town End junction with two roundabouts has begun.

The £600,000 scheme, which will see the current traffic lights system removed, started last week following completion of the Northern Link Road.

Work will be carried out in phases and is expected to take until July to complete.

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.

Coun David Dagger, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for transport and highways, said: “I’m very pleased that work has now started. There have been major traffic problems for quite a few years in Pontefract.

“Town End has been a bone of contention for a while but this scheme will ease the problem of traffic congestion in Pontefract – I’m confident of that.”

The council held public consultation events outlining various options for the junction but residents chose to have a large roundabout at the junction of Mill Hill and Wakefield Road, with a smaller one at the junction of Southgate and Jubilee Way.

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.

Coun Dagger said: “We have listened to the views of local people and one big and one small roundabout was the preferred option.

“But this is a different scheme completely to what we had before and it will be better than that.”

As part of the work there will be no right turn from Wakefield Road onto Mill Hill from next week. A diversion will be in place.

Coun Dagger added: “There’s no doubt there will be disruption because it is such a major scheme but we have worked hard to try and minimise this. Once complete the end result should deliver real benefits to the town so we would ask people to bear with us during the work.”

For more information call Wakefield Council on 0345 8 506506.