A MAJOR highways project to improve the A650 Hard Ings through Keighley has won an award.

The £9.3m scheme won the John Smeaton Award for the Best Large Highways and Transportation Project 2021 for the Yorkshire and Humber at the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation Awards.

The judges said they were impressed with the scope of the scheme which took into consideration the areas surrounding the highway, and its benefits to the community and the region.

The scheme started in 2019 and overcame the challenges associated with working during the Covid-19 pandemic to complete and open within budget in October 2020.

It has been the biggest road scheme in the Bradford District for years.

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The route had been a key pinch point causing congestion along the A650 and in Keighley Town centre.

Work included widening the existing carriageway to provide two lanes in each direction for the full extent of the section of Hard Ings Road Keighley.

The scheme increased the number of lanes from 2 to 4 along a 0.7km stretch of road to provide the “missing link” along the A650.

It added traffic signals on the roundabout to increase safety and efficiency and a signalized junction with pedestrian and cycle crossing (toucan crossing) at the junction with Lawkholme Lane.

A shared, two-way cycle and pedestrian footway was added to the southern side of Hard Ings road and green spaces were created to improve aesthetics, air quality and noise pollution.

New energy efficient LED street lighting was installed along the length of the highway.

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The scheme was judged to be Very High Value for Money, with cost benefit ratio of £6.24 to every pound spent.

The Hall Ings scheme was designed and delivered by Bradford Council‘s Planning, Transportation and Highways Services Teams with West Yorkshire Combined Authority as the funding body.

Work was undertaken by Howard Civil Engineering.

It was originally allocated £10.3m, but came in under budget.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “This is fantastic news and we are delighted to be recognised for all the hard work and diligence that went into upgrading one of the districts’ most important routes.

“We’ve had fantastic feedback locally and I’d like to congratulate and thank our council officers for all their hard work delivering this scheme.

“While it is too early to fully judge the performance of this project, schemes like this deliver significant benefits to local people including reduced travel times, and improved road safety.”