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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

A61 and A639 could get £22 million investment to connect Leeds and Wakefield

Residents and businesses are being asked for views on proposals to invest up to £22.5 million in two key roads connecting Leeds and Wakefield – the A61 and the A639.

Leeds City Council, Wakefield Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) have developed plans to improve the two roads by:

  • Making them easier and safer for people travelling by bus, bike or on foot.

  • Creating faster and more reliable bus journeys.

  • Reducing congestion and delays for car users.

  • Reducing air pollution.

  • Improving green spaces along the two routes.

As much as £11.6 million would be invested in the A61 between Leeds and Wakefield, with up to £10.9 million invested in the A639 between Leeds and Pontefract town centre.

The schemes would be delivered in partnership with WYCA as part of the government’s Transforming Cities Fund, which aims to provide an accessible, attractive, and cleaner alternative to car journeys.

The proposed package of measures include dedicated bus lanes and cycle lanes, new crossings, wider pavements and footpaths, and smart traffic lights to ease congestion, planting of new trees and public realm improvements.

Leeds City Councillor Helen Hayden, Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate, said: “These proposals will help create a much better and safer experience for everyone who uses these roads. Both routes are currently dominated by cars, and by making these improvements we can encourage people to use more sustainable methods of travel such as walking and cycling which reduce our impact on the environment and can also improve our health and wellbeing. “Securing this funding is extremely positive news for our communities and it’s important that we hear the views of local residents and businesses before we progress our proposals further.”

Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “This is a significant investment in two key routes that are well-used by local traffic as well as people travelling from the Wakefield District to Leeds for work or education.

“These improvements are designed to improve connections, reduce delays and make it easier for people travel by bus, bike or on foot.

“I want to encourage everyone who uses these roads to complete the survey to tell us what you think of these initial plans.”

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “Investment in the A61 and A39 is another step towards achieving net zero carbon emissions in our region by 2038, making life in Leeds and Wakefield cleaner and greener. “I would urge people to respond to the consultation, as the proposed changes will affect everyone who uses the routes. A fair transition to an inclusive, low-carbon economy will need to meet the needs of people from all walks of life to be a success.”

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