HUNDREDS of daily HGV movements into a massive distribution centre planned for green fields near the M62 will totally overwhelm a key motorway junction.

That’s the fear of a leading Liberal Democrat who says the impact of the 24/7 facility, along with other major schemes, means already congested roads leading to junction 26 at Chain Bar will grind to a halt.

Councillor John Lawson’s Cleckheaton ward includes Scholes, where 59 acres of sloping farmland between Whitehall Road, Whitechapel Road and the M62 are earmarked for a massive warehouse linked to online retailer Amazon.

Space would be allocated for nearly 200 HGVs as well as 900 cars and vans leading to concerns that local routes – including the Chain Bar junction – could become clogged.

Cllr Lawson called for “an overriding strategy” for the future of the Chain Bar roundabout and cautioned: “The network will be saturated.”

His warning comes as several elements are combining to put pressure on the already overloaded junction.

They include a 57-acre site – formerly North Bierley Waste Water Treatment Works – adjacent to the M606 and on the border of Kirklees and Bradford, which is designated for industrial use, and farmland off Hunsworth Lane in Cleckheaton, which could see hundreds of houses being built.

Earlier this year councillors threw out plans by Harron Homes to build 267 homes on almost 30 acres of grazing land at Merchant Fields. The company has since resubmitted its application and increased the number of houses to 284.

However a multi-million pound scheme proposed by Highways England to alleviate heavy traffic at Chair Bar by creating a direct link from the M62 westbound to the M606 northbound has stalled.

The project was “paused” following a review in 2017. There is no mention of it in Highways England’s 2020-2025 delivery plan.

The result, says Cllr Lawson, could be traffic chaos.

“All the interlocking pieces have not been considered as a whole at Chair Bar.

“We have several developments all coming almost simultaneously with no clear picture of what the future will look like at Chain Bar.

“We already have almost gridlock on both sides of the A638 Bradford Road and both sides of the A58 Whitehall Road at peak times.

“That means queuing or standing traffic on major routes down to the M62 every weekday morning.”

He said active travel proposals by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) – a group of leading councillors and officers from West Yorkshire councils, plus York, that works on major infrastructure projects – would add to the pressure.

“There’s just a feeling that no-one has overall control of what’s going into the junction. The fear is that we are brewing up a perfect storm.

“There must be an overarching strategy for the future of the Chain Bar roundabout and it needs to include all partners: Kirklees Council, WYCA, the police and Highways England.

“They need to get their heads together and talk about Chair Bar – especially as the dedicated northbound carriageway of the M606 appears to be a thing on the past.
“If that’s off the table then traffic congestion can only get worse.”