REGARDING the letter ‘Town needs a new bypass’ (Express July 5) the South East Link Action Group (SELRAG), has been working towards this for over 30 years.
Coalfields regeneration money was given to South Yorkshire to improve employment prospects. At the same time it was assumed that there was alternative employment available in West Yorkshire for those affected by mining closures. So no regeneration money was made available.
SELRAG, representing interested parties from Ackworth, Featherstone and Pontefract, managed to persuade Wakefield Council to plan for a link road under the local transport plan. ARUP engineering, in consultation with WMDC and some input from SELRAG produced a detailed scheme putting the case for such a link road and answering all the communication, congestion, economic and environmental matters affecting local residents and businesses.
Under the funding methods for major schemes applying at that time, the South East Link Road (SELR) gained no support from the Yorkshire and Humber region which controlled the way money was allocated. This coincided with the start of the economic downturn. The SELR scheme is still in the Wakefield Council website under LTP and is worth reading. The outline route is protected.
To achieve SELRAG’s aims we must have support from our elected councillors at both district and local level. To gain this support, the general public needs to add its voice in any way possible.
SELRAG continues to keep an eye on the road situation. It believes that the planned roundabout scheme for Town End, Pontefract, may give some short term relief, but the only long term solution to the local traffic problem lies in a South East Link Road.
This may have to be modified so that it may be constructed in stages as the full scheme at over £70 million is out of reach in the present economic climate.