A congestion-busting one-way traffic system in Keighley town centre will be operational by 2015.
That was the message from Bradford Council transport bosses, who said initial feasibility work was complete and detailed designs would be drawn up this year.
The scheme – which will see East Parade, Hanover Street and Cavendish Street turned into a one-way network – has been widely welcomed.
Campaigners have been calling for action for years to tackle Keighley’s chronic traffic snarl-ups.
Coun Graham Mitchell – chairman of Keighley Town Council’s watch and transport committee – said the scheme was not necessarily the ideal solution but would provide benefits.
He said: “The ‘big solution’ to all the traffic problems would be a by-pass but that won’t happen – it’s impossible to see where you could realistically build one.
“A western one would be totally out of the question and an eastern route would involve bridging the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway and the River Worth.
“We therefore have to look at a scaled-down option and the best we have come up with is the one-way system, which will provide some measurable benefit in the town centre.
“The problem with Keighley is that there are too many vehicles on the network. But if we can keep traffic flowing in the centre, there won’t be the long queues on roads heading in.
“The alternative is to do nothing, and the situation would just get worse and worse.”
Stuart Hastings, owner of Metro Taxis in Church Street, Keighley, welcomed the scheme.
“I think it’s a brilliant idea,” he said.
“Keighley desperately needs it and we’ve been arguing for it for years.
“Not everybody will be in favour, but it will suit most people.
“At present it’s horrendous trying to drive through town. This scheme will help keep traffic flowing and cut delays.”
Steve Seymour, manager of the Airedale Shopping Centre and chairman of the Town Centre Association, agreed that action is needed.
“I’ve seen the proposal and it has to be welcomed,” he said.
“It won’t be long until the new Worth Valley Shopping Centre opens and that will add to the traffic problems.
“The sooner the one-way system is in place, the better.
“The scheme will also help raise the profile of our shopping centre’s location, which clearly we welcome.”
Bradford Council has already dedicated almost £1.5 million to the project, which will see East Parade restricted to southbound traffic, Hanover Street northbound and Cavendish Street eastbound.
Keighley Area Committee gave its blessing to the proposal last year.