A629 Phase 1b Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about the A629 Phase 1b scheme. If your question is not answered in this section, please email us at thenextchapter@calderdale.gov.uk

Why are we spending money on this work?

The West Yorkshire Plus Transport fund provides financial support for specific projects to improve connectivity, journey time reliability, travel choice and to enable local economic and jobs growth across the region. Following an application process to regional and central government, we successfully secured funds for projects to upgrade the A629 between Halifax and Huddersfield across 5 phases. This involves improving the flow of traffic and making improvements for walking, cycling and buses. If we hadn’t bid for this money it would have been a lost opportunity for Calderdale, which another authority would have benefitted from.

Why isn’t the money for this project being spent on potholes or other council areas?

The A629 scheme is fully funded by the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund - external funds administered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. The money can only be used on this scheme and is attached to specific targeted spending criteria set out by the Combined Authority.

How long will the work last?

It’s planned that the Phase 1b element of the wider A629 programme will be completed by spring 2023. The scheme includes road widening to twin lanes in both directions from Elland bypass to Salterhebble Hill, the construction of a new bridge and link road from A629 to Wakefield Road, a new roundabout on Stainland Road (also widened including new bus lane), new traffic signals at Jubilee Road, and cycling / walking infrastructure improvements. There will also be new tree planting plus the creation of a wetland to encourage and enhance the natural habitat. 

Why is the traffic filtered to one lane a long way before where the work is being carried out?

This is so that people have plenty of time to merge in to one lane and to ensure that the reduction in speed from 50mph to 30mph happens well before drivers enter any areas of work. This safety measure helps to keep drivers and our workforce safe and is in accordance with national standards.  

Why can’t we turn right into or out of Jubilee Road, Rookery Lane, the garage, McDonalds, The Watermill and other businesses?

The main aim through the work is to ensure safety for those working on the scheme and for road users. An additional priority is to ensure that traffic can flow freely along the A629 at all times. Restricting the right turn helps keep traffic flowing by preventing traffic stopping in the live lane while waiting to cross the carriageways and importantly, reduces the likelihood of accidents.

Diversions which direct traffic along the most sensible and safe alternative routes are in place and we advise road users to follow these. 

Why is Bankhouse Lane closed?

The section of Bankhouse Lane that runs directly off the A629 needs to be closed while we demolish the buildings near to the Brewers Fayre pub. As the buildings were built into the side of the hill, when we demolish them, we will also need to do some further work to the road. We cannot do this work while the road remains open.   

Why is Exley Bank closed and can residents still access?

Exley Bank will be closed to vehicles at the junction with the A629 from 28 February 2022 for the demolition of the former Punchbowl pub and for work to be carried out safely in the area.  Access for residents will be from the Backhold Lane and signs will be in place saying access for residents only. The road will be closed until late 2022 as the work to demolish the pub, widen the carriageway and create a new public is undertaken. Exley Bank will remain open for pedestrians during the first phase of work.

Why is there nobody working when I drive past?

Our normal working hours are from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Our workforce are all multi-skilled and can work on different tasks throughout our work. This means that sometimes our staff might be working on different parts of the scheme to prepare for work in other areas.   Working outdoors in all weathers is also physically demanding and we encourage our workforce to take regular breaks for their welfare on site. 

There are also times when staff might be collecting materials or waiting for work to be signed off.  Please be assured that we use a robust planning system to ensure that work is completed efficiently and safely.   

Why isn’t the work carried out at weekends or during the night when there’s less traffic?

We’re committed to ensuring that the work is done in the best way for motorists, businesses, and pedestrians. While we appreciate that working through the day might cause disruption, it’s the safest way to do the work.

Working at weekends presents challenges with materials supply as many suppliers don’t work weekends. We also must consider work and life balances; like everyone, our staff have commitments outside of work and weekends offer important family and down time.  While some night shifts will be unavoidable, we generally tend not to schedule work during the night. This is mainly to avoid excess disruption to residents. Where we do need to work night shifts, we’ll give as much notice as possible to residents.

There are also practical issues such as lighting levels and the potential that any emergencies during night work might be harder to respond to.  

Will utilities and other services be disrupted because of the work?

Underneath and alongside the A629 there are many cables and pipes that are the responsibility of the various utility companies (gas, electric, water, cable, broadband fibre etc). The project does factor in costs and the need for some of these cables and pipes to be diverted or protected, but it is the responsibility of the utility companies themselves to carry out the work to their equipment and to update their customers.

Will any bus stops be closed during the work?

It’s likely that we’ll need to close the bus stop near to the old Punch Bowl pub when we start demolishing this building. A temporary bus stop will be available nearby which will be clearly visible. We work closely with local bus operators to ensure that bus drivers are aware of any changes in advance.   

Will footways and crossings be open during the work?

Most footways will remain open during the work; however, there will be times when we need to close them for safety reasons. Where we need to close footpaths, we’ll ensure that suitable pedestrian diversions are in place. These will be clearly signed.   

Will the canal towpath be affected during the work and can I still access the canal?

As we build the new bridge across the canal, there will be times when certain sections of the canal towpath will need to be closed. We’ll make sure that suitable pedestrian and cycle diversions are in place and clearly signed.   

I’ve seen lots of bad driving and illegal manoeuvres because of the road works. What are you doing to address this?

The traffic management has been put in place after discussion and agreement with the relevant authorities. This process identifies a traffic management system that’s safe and proportionate for the construction to be completed safely and effectively. While this traffic management might result in some disruptions, road users are still expected to abide by the rules of the road. Any illegal manoeuvres and bad driving are a police matter. The police are aware of the work so will monitor this as they see necessary.  

Drivers are using shortcuts and ‘rat runs’ to avoid the hotspots. What are you doing to stop this?

Road users are free to choose which roads and routes they take so long as there are no access restrictions. We put in place diversions which divert traffic along the most sensible and safe alternative route, but if road users choose to find different routes, we have no powers to stop this.  If rat running becomes dangerous or problematic please report to the Calderdale Community Safety Team by emailing community-safety@calderdale.gov.uk

For more details of what the Community Safety Team do, visit Community Safety  

What are you doing to support the local community during the disruption?

John Sisk & Son Ltd, who were first established in 1859 and a leading UK Civil Engineering company, is the contractor delivering this scheme. This work was appointed as part of a rigorous tendering process which included Sisk explaining how it would support communities. As of Winter 2021, Sisk has helped with local projects in schools, held a community fun day and employed several people from the Halifax area. Throughout the scheme, Sisk will continue to offer opportunities for employment, including apprenticeships and permanent job roles. It will also continue to engage with local schools and colleges.  Sisk will support local charities by actively raising funds through local initiatives. Wherever possible, Sisk will use local suppliers for materials and labour (such as cleaning and security services) and staff are encouraged to spend locally wherever possible.   

How are you managing the wildlife on the scheme and ensuring that any effect on biodiversity is being rectified?

We conduct in-depth surveys in any areas of wildlife to ensure that we don’t disturb any protected species. We also have robust processes in place for disposal of any hazardous materials from site so that no harm is caused to the environment. Work is always carried out in conjunction with environmental specialists to ensure protection of wildlife and compliance with the law.

On completion, substantial landscaping proposals and investment is being made at the Stainland Road site, including a new wetland plus coppice, and at the nearby ancient woodland at North Dean.  

How can I get updates about the roadworks?

There are several ways you can find out about the scheme and the roadworks. John Sisk & Son Ltd, the contractors for the work, will send a fortnightly e-bulletin giving updates and progress on the scheme (including traffic management). To sign up for this bulletin, send an email to hebblecomms@sisk.co.uk    

Alternatively go to one.network to find out about roadworks and road closures.

For more information about individual projects visit Calderdale Next Chapter Projects  

Will the roadworks cause delays?

There may be slight delays typically experienced when roadworks are in place but the traffic on the A629 is monitored and should the work begin to cause significant delays, this will be looked at. The A629 from Ainley Top roundabout is a key route into Halifax so keeping the traffic flowing as much as possible is a priority. This is one of the reasons why the right hand turns into and out of some roads/businesses in Salterhebble have been restricted whilst the work is underway.