A61 and A639 scheme: Public consultation to be held on new bus and cycle route plans for key Leeds to Wakefield roads

Residents and businesses are being asked for their views on proposals to invest up to £22.5 million in two key roads connecting Leeds and Wakefield – the A61 and the A639.

By Alex Grant
Monday, 4th July 2022, 4:30 pm

Leeds City Council, Wakefield Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) have developed plans to improve the two roads.

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The plans would see £11.6 million invested in the A61 between Leeds and Wakefield, with up to £10.9 million invested in the A639 between Leeds and Pontefract town centre.

The proposed package of measures include dedicated bus lanes and cycle lanes, new crossings, wider pavements and footpaths.

It would be delivered in partnership with WYCA as part of the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund, which aims to provide an accessible, attractive, and cleaner alternative to car journeys.

The proposed package of measures include dedicated bus lanes and cycle lanes, new crossings, wider pavements and footpaths, and smart traffic lights to ease congestion, planting of new trees and public realm improvements.

“These proposals will help create a much better and safer experience for everyone who uses these roads,” said Coun Helen Hayden, Leeds council member for infrastructure and climate.

“Both routes are currently dominated by cars, and by making these improvements we can encourage people to use more sustainable methods of travel such as walking and cycling which reduce our impact on the environment and can also improve our health and wellbeing.”

Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said:

“This is a significant investment in two key routes that are well-used by local traffic as well as people travelling from the Wakefield District to Leeds for work or education.

“These improvements are designed to improve connections, reduce delays and make it easier for people travel by bus, bike or on foot."

The full detail of proposed changes include:

Making both routes easier and safer for people travelling by bus, bike or on foot.

Creating faster and more reliable bus journeys.

Reducing congestion and delays for car users.

Reducing air pollution.

Improving green spaces along the two routes.

“Investment in the A61 and A39 is another step towards achieving net zero carbon emissions in our region by 2038, making life in Leeds and Wakefield cleaner and greener,” said, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire.

“I would urge people to respond to the consultation, as the proposed changes will affect everyone who uses the routes. A fair transition to an inclusive, low-carbon economy will need to meet the needs of people from all walks of life to be a success.”

Residents and businesses are being consulted on the proposals between Monday, July 4 and Sunday, August 14.

Feedback on these initial proposals will then be used to help shape more detailed plans, which will then be consulted on further.

Delivery of the improvements is scheduled for 2024 subject to approvals.

Residents can give their feedback via the online portal or in person at the following public events.

A639 and A61:

Oulton Primary – LS26 8NT on Monday, July 18, 6-8pm.

Robin Hood Primary – WF3 3BG on Wednesday, July 20, 2-6pm.

A639:

Glasshoughton Centre – WF10 4PF on Thursday, July 14, 4-7pm.

A61:

Sandal Methodist Church – WF1 5NU on Monday, July 11, 4-7pm.

Outwood Memorial Hall – WF1 2NE on Wednesday, July 13, 4-7pm.