THE ‘FIRST visible step’ towards Otley getting a new relief road will be taken this week.

A new road to help reduce through-traffic in the town was named, years ago, as a vital pre-condition for the 550 home East of Otley development.

The chances of that long-anticipated housing scheme finally getting underway rose substantially earlier this year when Leeds City Council agreed to underwrite the estimated £25 million cost of the relief road. Now some initial groundworks for the route, which would connect Pool Road (A659) with Leeds Road (A660), have begun.

Ward councillors were informed about the work by the city council last week in a message that said: “The council’s geotechnical contractors Allied Exploration & Geotechnics Limited (AEG) will be on site next week to commence the ground investigations on the land the road will likely be constructed.

“The outcome of the ground investigations will determine the best route for the road and give increased accuracy of costs.

“All landowners have been positive in arranging access for the investigations and the contractors will be using a temporary compound located on the Stephen Smith’s Garden Centre site.”

The work is set to begin on Otley RUFC owned land and will then move in a south east direction, heading towards the A660. Councillor Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) welcomed the news. He said: “This is the first visible step in the road construction.

“Hopefully, everything will go well and the rest of the project can move forward.”

Town Council Chair Councillor Ray Georgeson (Lib Dem, Danefield) added: “I am grateful to Leeds for the advance warning that work is starting, as the unannounced presence of work forces in the East Of Otley development zone always prompts speculation.

“It is good news that work on the geotechnical surveying is starting and we wish them well in what we know will be a challenging task to assess the best route for the relief road.”