LINK road plans for Leeds Bradford Airport will make congestion worse on the A65, campaigners are claiming.

Aireborough Civic Society believes the stretch between Menston and Horsforth will suffer from increased traffic and it is also warning that important Green Belt will be lost.

The society says it is opposing a £100million spend on a link road and is urging residents to give their views on the scheme before the consultation closes on April 12.

A statement issued by the civic society says: “Leeds Council’s image of the proposed junction opposite Rawdon Cemetery does not show any traffic. Unfortunately traffic often queues back nearly to Rawdon Crossroads between 4pm and 5.30pm due to gridlock on the Leeds Outer Ring Road between Horsforth and Rodley. Traffic from Hall Lane squeezing on to the A65 just before the roundabout already adds to the problem. A further addition of traffic from a Link Road must make it even worse.”

“Congestion maps and studies show that Aireborough has severe congestion problems between Menston and Rawdon on the A65, and between Rawdon and Greengates on the A658 at peak times and also at weekends. None of the options will help with this.”

It says peak times for arriving at the airport were when the roads were fairly quiet, before 7am and after 6pm.

It adds: “We do not believe that airport users have a big impact on our congestion. It is far more to do with hundreds of new homes that have been built in Aireborough, Apperley Bridge, Otley, Menston etc.”

The group is putting forward its own proposals, including two traffic lanes on the A65 from Horsforth Roundabout to Airedale Works, with one lane being a bus lane. It also suggests improvements to a “congestion hotspot” at Cardigan Fields, as well as Bayton Lane junction and Carlton Crossroads. It also wants to see Ring Road improvements at the Rodley and Horsforth Roundabouts, and bus lanes between Rawdon and Menston.

A Leeds City Council report earlier this year said: “Current surface access to LBA is poor with existing routes being affected by congestion, resulting in rat-running with associated negative impacts on local settlements. There is a likelihood that conditions will worsen without any infrastructure improvements, given the forecast growth of LBA coupled with the proposed employment allocation.”

The council website says: “Apart from improving road access to the airport, which is likely to generate more traffic as it continues to grow, the options aim to reduce existing issues caused by peak-time congestion by helping to filter vehicles either along the new link road or more effectively along a wider and improved A65/A658.”

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