Kirkgate roadworks now a month behind schedule

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Motorists and pedestrians face another month of misery after it was confirmed the Kirkgate roadworks were running behind schedule.

The £5.5 million project, which has seen huge alterations to the roads and walkways around the Kirkgate roundabout, was supposed to have been completed by yesterday, May 31.

However, there are still parts incomplete with cones still in place on the roads and restricted access to pathways.

Wakefield Council says the completion target date will now be June 30.

Neil Rodgers, Wakefield Council’s service director for planning, transportation and highways, said: “Work by utility companies has caused a slight delay but we are now in the final stages with the road surfacing expected to be finished by the end of next week. Then some works needs to be completed to walls, pavements and road markings.

“On June 11, the new traffic lights at Chantry House roundabout are expected to be switched on.

“Inevitably a major project like this does cause some disruption and we do apologise for any inconvenience caused. But now the works are nearing completion the disruption should be minimal.”

Businesses around the Kirkgate area have described the 12 months of work, as a “nightmare”, with trade taking a nosedive.

Having been given the new completion date, Geoff Walpole, who runs Doorkraft, Auto Graph Specialist Cars and Criminal Records vinyl shop on nearby Park Street, said: “I’ll believe it when it see it.

“I’ve been here 30 years and I’ve never seen such disruption. I know people who won’t come into Wakefield because of it.”

Mark Beever, a partner in Paregal Pianos, also on Park Street, said that the new layout and roadworks had led him to losing tens of thousands of pounds.

He said: “People ring us up and say they can’t get to us, asking if we’re still open, it’s been terrible.

“I don’t know who draws up the time scales up for these things but they never run on time.”