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£1.5m scheme could be answer to Keighley traffic congestion
2:27pm Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
Traffic chaos on Keighley’s snarled-up town centre streets could be eased if plans for a £1.5 million development scheme is approved.
Bradford Council’s proposed project will involve creating a new one-way system along the triangle formed by East Parade, Hanover Street and Cavendish Street.
Countless potential solutions to cut congestion have been mooted in the past, but none have ever come to fruition. But if the council’s executive gives the green light to the scheme, it could be completed as early as the end of March 2014.
Councillor Val Slater, Bradford Council executive member for housing, planning and transport, said: “This scheme, if implemented, is designed to ease traffic flow through the centre of Keighley, improving economic performance and making life better for residents, workers and visitors to the town.”
A report drafted for the council’s executive meeting on Tuesday states a contribution of just over £1.1 million to the one-way scheme could be made from funds provided by the former Regional Transport Board.
This would support cash already secured from the West Yorkshire Local Transport Plan and a proposed town centre development.
The report says the project would complement plans to tackle traffic congestion in Hard Ings Road, which could result from the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund that is also being considered by the executive.
This £1 billion pot is being put together by six Yorkshire councils, including Bradford, to help boost employment and productivity and enhance the region’s infrastructure.
Keighley town councillor Graham Mitchell, chairman of the watch and transport committee, welcomed the news.
He said a body called the Traffic Advisory Panel, which was established by the town council, had been recommending this type of solution for about two years.
“The logic is Keighley is not going to get a bypass, therefore we need to try and make the movement of vehicles inside the town flow more easily,” he added.
Russell Revill, managing director of operations for bus company Transdev, who chairs the advisory panel, said: “The town suffers tremendous traffic congestion during peak periods, and on Saturday mornings in particular.
“Various schemes have been worked up before, but so far none have been brought to fruition. We’re pleased to see that finally there appears to be a potential solution on the cards.”
Graham Benn, vice-chairman of Keighley Town Centre Association, who is also a Cavendish Street trader, said: “Personally, I think it’s a good idea – it will help traffic move more freely around the town.
“At the moment, the town centre becomes gridlocked for an hour in the morning and an hour at night.
“It stops people coming into the town because they know it takes so long to get from one side to the other, and that’s often a comment customers pass on.”