Here’s what Bradford Council is doing to ease traffic on ‘most congested road outside London’
Bradford Council has reaffirmed its commitment to easing traffic on a stretch of road deemed to be the most congested outside London.
New data shows that Leeds Road/Saltaire Road, which runs from Harrogate Road in Greengates to Saltaire, is in the top five most congested roads in the UK.
The traffic-choked route includes the Greengates Junction and Fox Corner in Shipley, as well as Saltaire Road. Commuters using that stretch lose an average of 44 hours a year stuck in traffic, according to traffic data firm Inrix.
Only three roads in London – the A406 Circular road, the A23 Brixton Road and Kingsway/Strand/Cannon Street – are more congested.
Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, the Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “This stretch of the A657 from Greengates through to Saltaire has a number of congested areas and it’s something we’ve been working on improving for some time.”
He said upcoming action included:
- Major junction improvements planned for the New Line/Greengates junction with work starting in the next 12 months
- The Bradford to Shipley Route Improvements Scheme, to increase capacity along Canal Road to encourage traffic away from other roads, allowing the Council to prioritise public transport along Bradford Road into the city centre
- Continually monitoring congestion and working alongside other authorities
- Investing in smart traffic signalling technology that will help improve traffic flow across the district
- Progressing a number of other projects to encourage public transport use such as CityConnect 2, which will finish shortly and provide a dedicated cycle route between Shipley and Bradford where it will join the CityConnect 1 route to Leeds.
- Looking at increasing the car parking capacity at Shipley train station through the West Yorkshire Park & Ride programme.
Coun Ross-Shaw added: “It’s worth bearing in mind that on the whole, Bradford and West Yorkshire have considerably less congestion than many of the other areas mentioned in this report but we know there’s still more to do and will continue to work on securing funding opportunities to deliver further transport improvements for the district.”
Councillor Martin Love (Green, Shipley) says simply widening roads will not solve the problem.
He said: “It is not a surprise that part of Saltaire Road is on a list of areas suffering the worst air pollution in the district. It is right next to Saltaire Primary School and Wycliffe Primary Academy.
“Simply widening roads and allowing more traffic through won’t work. It just attracts more traffic. It is never going to be the solution. We need to be getting people out of cars and into public transport.
“If you make improvements to a junction then you just move the congestion along to somewhere else.”
He said while West Yorkshire Combined Authority was announcing new road projects to reduce congestion in the area, it was also planning cuts to the amount of money it provides to subsidise bus routes.
Councillor Vick Jenkins (Lab, Shipley) said: “The congestion is symptomatic of a a run down, deregulated and unsupported bus service.
“Trains in the district are also failing commuters, pushing people into their cars. We need a new vision, like the one Labour is developing nationally that supports our communities and helps take traffic off the roads.”