Kirklees Council’s Cabinet is scheduled to discuss the funding strategy for major transport schemes on Tuesday 23 January. The council’s program includes projects related to walking, cycling, relieving traffic congestion, supporting public transport, and reducing carbon output to meet its green agenda. Due to cost increases, partially caused by fluctuations in inflation following Covid and other economic pressures, the council’s previously planned projects may need to be revised. These transport schemes take years to plan and deliver, with the funding coming from various complex sources vetted by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, including the West Yorkshire Transport Fund.
The council’s new funding strategy aims to make its key projects more affordable by altering the way Kirklees elements of the West Yorkshire Transport Fund are allocated. Funding shortfalls will be addressed by adjusting the timeline for improvements in the A62 to Cooper Bridge scheme, which will distribute some financial resources to other initiatives. Phase one of the revised plan will see work on the Cooper Bridge roundabout, with the rest of the plan to be completed at a later stage, subject to in-depth evaluation. This distribution of funding will enable the implementation of many significant transport improvements across Kirklees.
Councillor Graham Turner, Cabinet Member for Finance and Regeneration, acknowledged that major projects have come under financial strain due to rising costs of materials and struggling construction sectors following Covid. However, despite the challenges, the council remains ambitious for Kirklees and will continue to invest in the area’s transportation infrastructure, working with relevant partners to deliver excellent improvements at reasonable prices.