New link road to open on Monday

New Northern Link Road opening.  (p621b508)

New Northern Link Road opening. (p621b508)

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A £5.5m new link road which aims to ease congestion and boost the economy in Pontefract opens on Monday.

The 1.5km Northern Link Road – from Park Road to Monkhill – is part of a scheme to open up the former Prince of Wales Colliery site which also includes building 900 new homes, shops and businesses, creating more than 1,000 jobs.

Work on the road – which was funded by a £4.1m grant from the Department for Transport and £1.48m from Wakefield Council – started last June.

Coun David Dagger, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for transport and highways, said: “This is great news for the district and will provide a boost to our local economy.

“The road will play an important role in helping to reduce town centre traffic, improving pedestrian and cycle facilities, as well as reducing air pollution from traffic.”

The completion of the link road means work will start on Monday on a £600k project to turn Pontefract’s Town End junction – which became a signalised junction in 1996 – back to the previous system of two roundabouts.

Following public consultation, plans for the change were first announced in February 2011.

The junction had been found to have the worst traffic congestion levels in Wakefield district.

Work had been due to start in spring 2012 and be completed by last autumn but the plans were put on hold as the council needed to buy a piece of land on Wakefield Road.

Coun Dagger said: “I welcome work starting at Town End Junction.

“We have listened to the views of local residents and will now deliver what people wanted. The aim of the new road layout is to help ease congestion and improve safety for pedestrians.”

n See next week’s Express for more details on the Town End scheme.