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Council leader tells transport boss to 'get out with a digger' to set scheme moving
The leader of Bradford Council has urged his transport supremo to get “out there with a digger and jack hammer” to make sure a traffic-busting scheme gets finished before funding is pulled.
Councillor David Green made the tongue-in-cheek comment as a multi-million-pound plan to build a dual carriageway along part of the congestion-prone Canal Road corridor got the go-ahead.
The scheme, to build a stretch of new dual carriageway along Canal Road to ease congestion, and improve the Canal Road-Stanley Road junction, won a Government grant of £2.6 million.
But all the money has to be spent before a Government-imposed cut-off date of March 2015, or it will be lost.
So now the Council, which is putting up a further £1.14 million in funding and was originally planning on a finish date of summer 2015, has to speed up its work.
At a meeting of the Council’s executive yesterday’s, councillors heard that for the scheme to be done in time, key decisions would have to be delegated to staff.
The Council already owns much of the land which will be used to widen the road and improve the junction, but some of it is privately owned and needs to be acquired, and some of the Council-owned land is being leased out.
The delegated decisions, which would be overseen by executive member for transport Councillor Val Slater, include drawing up a detailed design for the scheme, negotiating with landowners and leaseholders to free up the necessary land, hiring contractors, seeking planning permission and approving the works.
Coun Slater told the meeting this approach would allow them to “actually get on and do the work”.
As the executive prepared to approve the request, Coun Green gave his light-hearted summary to highways officers: “We are about to approve it, then you can start building.
“I expect to see Coun Slater out there with a digger and jack hammer to make sure it gets done!”
Work is scheduled to begin next year and would be finished by January 2015.
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