Fears have been voiced trans-Pennine road improvements could burden the Aire Valley’s already-congested routes with an even greater volume of traffic.
A new study examining transport links between Yorkshire and Lancashire could have a massive impact on this area, it has been claimed this week.
Now Craven ward councillor, Adrian Naylor, is demanding to know why West Yorkshire’s Integrated Transport Authority (ITA) hasn’t been involved in the planning process.
A report entitled The M65 to Yorkshire Corridor Study, commissioned by Lancashire County Council, has received input from the neighbouring North Yorks-hire authority.
“We can see the start of planning for a new transport link from the M65 to the Aire Valley, which would bring a lot more traffic into a road system that is already at capacity,” said Coun Naylor.
“The issue for this area is that Lancashire and North Yorkshire county councils are discussing and planning their new transport infrastructure, but why isn’t West Yorkshire’s ITA party to these discussions?
“Surely, given the level of development planned in this area – for approximately 10,000 new houses from Keighley to Cross Hills – and the issues we already have of parking at Steeton Railway Station for people from out of the area who wish to use cheaper Metro tickets, you would have thought West Yorkshire would have been consulted and would want to incorporate it into its development plans.”
Coun Naylor added following a change in Government and the creation of new bodies, such as the ITAs, “joined-up thinking” seemed to have been forgotten.
A West Yorkshire ITA spokesman confirmed the authority had not been involved in any recent discussions with Lancashire County Council, but added it would endeavour to find out more about the study.
As part of the study, North Yorkshire County Council is asking its Lancashire counterpart to also look at the A6068 through Cowling, Glusburn and Cross Hills. Highways officers say the route is unsuitable for the large number of heavy goods vehicles currently using it.
And they add that whilst they would not expect the study to look in detail at issues in those communities, any proposals in Lancashire would have a “potentially significant impact” on the villages.