Ring road revamp cash bid

DEWSBURY could benefit from a share of a £560m pot of cash for improving transport networks.

It is one of several towns and cities in West Yorkshire working with the region’s Integrated Transport Authority to win government funding.

The cash would be used to realise ideas in the town’s Strategic Development Framework, including changes to the ring road and turning Longcauseway into a focal point.

On Monday, Kirklees Council made a formal expression of interest on behalf of the town.

Supporting letters were also sent by Dewsbury MP Simon Reevell, Dewsbury Retail Forum and the Reporter.

Now council officers have until the end of the year to draw up a full bid the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

Coun Paul Kane, chairman of Dewsbury Regeneration Board, said: “It all revolves around the masterplan and ideas that come out of that plan. They’re not just proposals, they are real possibilities.”

He said that since the plan was published in November, the board had asked officers to make detailed plans in readiness for formal bids.

“It was on the shelf so that when funding like this becomes available we’re in a fantastic situation where our ideas can be put into use,” he said. “ We’re in a great position.”

Making shopping areas more pedestrian friendly and improving connections between the town centre and surrounding neighbourhoods were a key part of the masterplan for the town.

Last month, we reported on the ideas being drawn up to meet those aims.

They were:

• reducing traffic volumes and the layout of the southern stretch of Dewsbury ring road;

• improving the way pedestrians and cars move around the town centre;

• changes to Longcauseway to improve walking, cycling and bus links into the town and create a high street linking the market and retail park.

If the bid succeeds, those plans could be put into practice.

Full bids must be made by December and the first grants will be awarded in 2012.