MAJOR roadworks are expected to cause disruption between the Aire Valley and Bradford for the next year, transport bosses have warned.

A £3.8 million project to redesign a busy junction in Canal Road, Bradford, will start next Monday.

But one councillor has called for Bradford Council to do more to stop Aire Valley firms losing out because of delayed journeys to or from the motorways while the works take place.

Councillor Simon Cooke, the Conservative group's spokesman for transport, said the authority should try to be "a little more considerate" to local businesses.

The project, which will take a year, will involve creating a short length of dual carriageway on Canal Road and introducing traffic signals at the junction with Stanley Road. It is being jointly funded by the Government and Council.

Transport chiefs hope it will alleviate traffic jams and discourage rat-running through Bolton Woods, where a major house-building push is planned.

Councillor Val Slater, Bradford Council's executive member for transport, said: "We apologise to any travellers facing delays and congestion because of the work but we are sure that the end result will make up for any temporary inconvenience.

"The scheme is designed to bring transport benefits to this strategic corridor while also opening up new development opportunities in Canal Road and Airedale, as well as assisting the delivery of the New Bolton Woods regeneration scheme in particular."

But Cllr Cooke (Con, Bingley Rural) said he had concerns over how businesses would be affected by the roadworks.

He said while he agreed the work was necessary, more needed to be done to minimise the disruption caused.

He said: "If you end up with a year's worth of gridlock, then it has done nothing much for these communities."

Cllr Cooke said he feared the roadworks would "force a lot of people on to alternative routes".

He said: "It is not enough for the Council to say, 'Look, guys, we have got to do this work and there's going to be some congestion'.

"They have got to be talking to people for whom that work is important - businesses in the Aire Valley which have a need to get goods and services in and out.

"Let's look at how we can get alternative routes worked out. Perhaps what we need to be looking at is something a little more considerate, especially to businesses."

Cllr Slater said they were hoping to carry out much of the work at weekends.

She said: "Obviously, we want to try to minimise disruption to anybody as much as possible, but very often it is very difficult to carry out work on important arterial roads without causing some kind of disruption.

"It's not the kind of thing you can do through the night because very often these roads go through residential areas and people have a right to be able to sleep on a night."

One of the firms likely to be affected by the delays is Chris Wright Haulage, of Baildon.

Managing director John Morton said a lot of their work involved driving across Bradford to get to and from the motorways, so the roadworks would directly affect them.

But he said: "We work predominantly for the building industry and the road surfacing industry, so we have to be sympathetic towards people doing roadworks. It's how we make our money.

"Yes, it will cause disruption, but as a company, we think it will be worth it. If the roads are improved for everybody, then we are all for it."