Bus service for Neil Fox Way in Wakefield needed urgently, councillors say

Wakefield's eastern relief road desperately needs a bus service to ease congestion, councillors have said.

Friday, 17th December 2021, 4:55 pm
Updated Friday, 17th December 2021, 4:56 pm
The road opened in 2017.

Neil Fox Way was opened in 2017, to offer a bypass round the city centre and be the spine for a mass housing development, known as City Fields.

But the new homes, which will eventually number 2,500 in total, are now generating heavy traffic along the road.

Another estate near the road, which will comprise 116 new properties, was given planning permission on Thursday as part of the overall development.

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The City Fields development will eventually see around 2,500 homes built to the east of Wakefield.

Wakefield Council's planning officers have described putting a high-frequency bus service on the route as a "long term aspiration".

But Pontefract South councillor David Jones said one was needed "sooner rather than later".

Speaking at the council's planning committee, Coun Jones said: "If we're going to be building these houses, they will be occupied very quickly.

"It concerns me when it's described as a long-term aspiration.

Councillor Jones warned of "more and more problems" building up, unless action was taken.

"I think we need to match the aspiration of a high-frequency service to the people living on the estate now, rather it being something far away in the long distance that might never actually be achieved.

"Otherwise we'll be just be building up more and more problems."

Explaining that he frequently used the road to commute into Wakefield, but not back home, Coun Jones added: "This application is going to make that junction that little bit more difficult, albeit at peak times.

"I certainly don't go that way at the end of the day now."

The Labour member's comments were supported by others on the committee.

Any bus service is likely to be funded by Section 106 cash, which is paid by developers for infrastructure, to help communities cope with new homes.

However, a highways officer told the meeting they believed the new estate would "not have a significant impact" on traffic.

Local Democracy Reporting Service