Bottleneck roundabout revamp proposal welcomed as a boost to Bradford (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Thornbury bottleneck roundabout revamp proposal welcomed as a boost to Bradford
A notorious bottleneck on the main artery between Bradford and Leeds is to get traffic lights in a bid to ease snarl-ups and reduce accidents.
The Thornbury Barracks roundabout on the A647 is often the scene of severe tailbacks and congestion at peak times.
The road is also an accident blackspot with 19 incidents since 2008.
Leeds City Council is spending £3.4 million to tackle concerns about safety and traffic congestion at the roundabout, with the scheme winning grants from the Department for Transport’s Pinch Point fund.
Details of the project have been greeted with delight in Bradford.
Councillor Val Slater, Bradford Council’s executive member for transport, said Bradford is set to benefit twice over from the Pinch Point Fund.
“We had already got money for improvements along Canal Road, and although the roundabout is a Leeds scheme, the work will be a huge boost for us. So Bradford is a double winner,” she said, adding that work on both schemes should be starting soon.
Councillor Mohammed Shafiq (Lab, Bradford Moor), whose ward borders the area, said: “This is wonderful. We welcome any investment along this road. I use the A647 five days a week and it is very, very busy with a number of accidents.
“It affects my constituents who have to travel to nearby schools and should make life much better for them.”
“Improvements will support what we are aiming for in the long term – to promote visibility for Bradford,” he said.
Works will include creating lanes through the middle of the roundabout in both main directions, traffic lights, reorganisation of lanes, pedestrian and cycling facilities, bus stop upgrades and better street lighting. The outdated subway will also be removed.
Priority traffic lights for buses are expected to increase the reliability of the number 72 hyperlink bus service – which runs every seven minutes during the day, Monday to Saturday.
And as a cycle super-highway connecting Bradford and Leeds by a 23km track approaches, the works could also be a chance to make the junction more bike-friendly.
Leeds City Council, executive board member for the economy and development, Councillor Richard Lewis, said: “This scheme will vastly improve this badly congested junction, which we’re sure commuters will welcome with open arms.
“Works will cause some disruption, but it will be short-term pain for long-term gain. The roundabout is on a major link with Bradford and is increasingly busy.
“Thornbury Barracks junction is also a key feature in our cycle network. We have been able to plan for the pinch point at the same time as the cycle superhighway, meaning we have a joined-up solution vital to a safe and working junction.”